Posts Tagged ‘Opinion’

Hall of Fame vice chairman Joe Morgan spoke up on behalf of some of his fellow inductees Tuesday, asking Baseball Writers’ Association of America voters responsible for helping select the 2018 class to keep steroid users out of Cooperstown.

The second baseman and two-time National League MVP, who was inducted in 1990, sent an email to writers, including ESPN’s Howard Bryant.

In his email, Morgan admits he isn’t speaking for every Hall of Famer, but argues that “players who failed drug tests, admitted using steroids, or were identified as users in the Major League Baseball’s investigation into steroid use, known as the Mitchell Report, should not get in.”

Among the Hall of Fame candidates named in the Mitchell Report are Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Gary Sheffield. Other candidates such as Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa allegedly tested positive for performance-enhancing drug use during their careers.

“By cheating, they put up huge numbers, and they made great players who didn’t cheat look smaller in comparison, taking away from their achievements and consideration for the Hall of Fame. That’s not right,” Morgan wrote of steroid users.

Some other Hall of Famers are saying they won’t attend induction ceremonies or other Cooperstown events if steroid users get in, Morgan added.

Morgan, who retired from baseball after the 1984 season, believes former teammate and MLB hits king Pete Rose should be on the ballot.

Rose was denied entry into the Hall because he was declared permanently ineligible from MLB in 1989. He admitted in 2004 he gambled on the sport and the Reds.

“I think if you’re going to allow guys with PEDs on the ballot, then we have to allow him to be on the ballot,” Morgan told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale in 2013. “Let’s face it, he’s been punished for 24 years. I think they have to take a second look at Pete now that this has come out.”

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Source: Calgary Herald

Bret Hart spoke with the Calgary Herald on topics in and outside of pro wrestling. Here are some of the highlights:

 Punching Vince McMahon backstage after the “Montreal Screwjob” at Survivor Series in 1997:

“It was only one punch but it was such a beautiful punch. Of all the things I’ve ever done in my life, it was the sweetest, most beautiful punch anyone could ever throw. It was just amazing. The whole memory of it brings a smile to my face. I just maybe wish that I’d mopped the floor with Triple H and Shawn Michaels both at the same time right after. That would have been ideal. … I think what it really amounted to was a case of Vince — and he’s a very macho kind of guy — he wanted to back me down in front of everybody in the dressing room and show that he was the boss and save face. So he took it upon himself to put himself in a physical situation, which was laughable. But he put himself in that situation and I knocked him out.”

Being lied to by people he worked with:

“To be lied to and screwed over legitimately by people that I had worked so hard for, I think it’s always been a black eye on them, not me. Everything I said was true, everything that I said happened, it happened the way it did.”

His goals when he got into wrestling:

“I got into wrestling to make some money, see the world, and meet girls. I accomplished that. Those were my initial goals. When I look back on everything, I’m really amazed by my career. I had so many wonderful guys that I worked with and great matches, that’s what was most important to me — and the fans. I had a great fan base across the country and around the world.”

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

Joel Embiid may not be at 100 percent, but he’s feeling great about his defense.

“Not to be cocky, but I think I’m the best defensive player in the league right now,” Embiid told reporters, as quoted by NBC Sports’ Jessica Camerato.

The 23-year-old center anchors the Philadelphia 76ers‘ defense, which ranks seventh in the NBA and allows 101.8 points per 100 possessions. The club has posted a defensive rating of 96.6 in 439 minutes with Embiid on the court this season – just shy of the top-ranked Boston Celtics – and has surrendered 11 more points per 100 possessions without him.

Not only does he lead the 76ers with 22.7 points per game, but the imposing 7-foot-2 big man is also active on the glass, pulling down 9.1 defensive rebounds (fourth in the NBA), and is one of the league’s best rim-protectors with 1.9 blocks (fifth) per outing.

“The Process” also ranks fourth in the league with a defensive real plus-minus of 2.74, giving him a slight edge over reigning Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green.

The 10-7 Sixers are on pace to make the playoffs for the first time in six years, and Embiid’s efforts at both ends are a big reason why.

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant took some time to reflect on leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder, and then he let everything out.

Durant admitted he was upset by how OKC fans turned on him after he chose to sign with Golden State, but he’ll ultimately look back fondly on his eight seasons with the Thunder.

“That stuff right there is going to last forever,” Durant told Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. “That stuff is way, way more important than a championship. Me and my family didn’t just erase those eight years in OKC. D.C. and OKC is where we grew up – my mom, my brother, me.

“I am OKC. I’m still OKC. That blue is going to be in my blood forever. That place raised me. I have people there who would take a bullet for me and vice versa. But there’s a point in a young man’s life, just like when he goes off to college, or when he moves to another city to get a job, he’s got to make a decision for himself. You’ve got to make a decision that’s best for yourself and you would expect the people that love you the most to say they understand.”

The response from Thunder fans was similar to that of Cleveland when LeBron James left for Miami in 2010, after Durant’s announcement on The Players’ Tribune that he would take his talents to the 73-win team that eliminated the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. Durant instantly went from being their favorite son to being hated, as fans responded by burning his jersey, flooding his social media mentions, and one person went so far as to fire an automatic rifle at his old uniform.

His former Thunder teammates followed suit. Russell Westbrook, who Durant once called his brother, played up the rivalry at every possible opportunity, which further endeared him to Thunder fans and made his bitterness toward Durant into a national storyline.

For better or for worse, these are people in his life that he’ll cherish, regardless of whether he gets the same love in return, or not.

“Those people really mean a lot to me to this day. No matter if they talk to me or they’re mad at me. Whether it’s Sam Presti or Troy Weaver or Russell Westbrook or Nick Collison. Whether it’s Wilson Taylor or Clay Bennett and his family, I love them from the bottom of my heart. We’re not talking, but eventually we will,” Durant said.

Source: TV Insider

Carmella spoke to TV Insider on a number of wrestling topics and working on Total Divas. Here are some of the highlights:

Finding out about Big Cass tearing his ACL:

“It’s a struggle. When I did find out he got injured, it was minutes before a match. We had a live event at the same time as Raw was going on. I’m a professional and at the end of the day you have to keep going. The show must go on. So, I’m going to put on my mean face and walk through that curtain and carry that briefcase. You have to make the most of it because the show must go on.”

Who brought the “drama” out of her on Total Divas:

“I said from Day One I wasn’t one to get involved in drama. But one person who seems to bring it out of almost everyone from what I’ve seen is Lana. You’ll be able to see a little bit of drama between myself and her on this show. I’m not going to say over what. I’ll just say I had to put her in her place, which doesn’t happen very often. But when something like that happens I have to stick up for myself. … Overall, it’s the women making history and showing week after week that we deliver in and out of the ring. It’s going to be a great season.”

Being the first women to win the Money in the Bank Contract:

“I’m getting emotional thinking about. All I ever wanted to do was make history and be a part of history. This women’s revolution is happening and it’s going full force. To even be a female wrestler in the industry is crazy, never mind making history twice. My name will forever go down in the history books. For that, no matter in the future, I will always remember that. Now having that documented on Total Divas is something I will have forever.”

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns has witnessed firsthand how medicinal marijuana can have a positive impact on ones life, which is why he’d like to see the NBA reconsider its stance on the substance.

“I agree with David Stern with marijuana,” Towns told ESPN’s Nick Friedell, echoing Stern’s belief that marijuana should be allowed for medicinal purposes. “You don’t have to actually make it ‘Mary J’ (or) ‘Half Baked.’ You don’t have to do it like that, but you could use the (chemical) properties in it to make a lot of people better. That’s something that Adam Silver has to do, that’s out of my control, but maybe legalizing marijuana.

“Not fully legal where people are chimneys but using (marijuana) as a beneficial factor as an athlete, as a person living daily. I think a lot of times fans forget that sometimes there may be some things that are banned that may not be the greatest for playing basketball, but for everyday living off the court, sometimes those things that are legal could help us.”

Towns has a girlfriend whose nephew is autistic. Some of the treatments used to handle the neurodevelopmental disorder involve properties of marijuana.

“I’ve seen nothing but benefits for him,” Towns added. “And I’m very happy that he finds comfort. He finds that normalcy every day. Just like a father, a mother, a parent with a child, you’d do anything for your child.”

The league’s current marijuana policy involves a mandated substance-abuse treatment program that must be completed following a positive test. A second would result in a $25,000 fine, with suspensions for every infraction from that point onward.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr used marijuana as part of his pain regiment stemming from multiple back surgeries. He believes cannabis is a better solution than prescription painkillers, which could cause more damage to the body.

Towns, meanwhile, admitted he’s never smoked in his life. Nonetheless, having been around his girlfriend’s nephew, as well as children at autistic schools, the 22-year-old knows the positives greatly outweigh the negatives in its usage.

“These guys, just because we’re NBA athletes, we’re not super humans,” he said. “Some of us have conditions that could use (medical marijuana) to our benefit for everyday living, just taking care of our kids and our families.”

Source: Bleacher Report

Becky Lynch spoke with Bleacher Report on a number of wrestling topics. Here are some of the highlights:

Working as a heel in her earlier days:

“When I was on the independent circuit, I always played the heel role, but I always felt that no matter what, I was able to connect with the fans. Whether I was good or not, there was a connection there because I think I just really love wrestling. If you’re a fan, you love wrestling. When you can feel that radiating off somebody, I think you tend to gravitate toward them. I think that’s the same with a lot of the babyfaces throughout WWE history. Fans pick up on that energy. It’s a passion we have for the industry. That resonates with them.”

Staying away from Total Divas:

“It’s not something I ever wanted for myself. It’s a great opportunity for the women. But I never envisioned myself in that role. And there’s a certain mystique about myself that I’d like to keep. I don’t want to give out too much of Rebecca Quinn.”

Wrestling James Ellsworth and intergender matches:

“With that match, my whole hope was that people didn’t get up in arms about a guy touching a woman. And that it just became about the storyline as opposed to ‘Oh no! What’s going on in the world?’ It was more about entertainment than making any political or social statement.”

You can read the full interview by clicking here.