Weekly sports ramblings - Feb. 12, 2009
Welcome, everybody, to my new weekly-online sports column where I will be discussing and commenting on the past week(s) of sports news. I’ll be commenting mostly on Michigan sports but also on the National level. So here goes:
•Several people associated with the Michael Phelps South Carolina bong incident have been arrested in Richland County, SC since the episode blew up two weeks ago in efforts to make a case against Phelps. This is a complete garbage case and I hope these people who’ve been UNFAIRLY attacked sue the Sheriff’s office and county. When did it become okay to arrest and prosecute people on such conditions? First of all, NOBODY can prove anybody in any of the pictures that have surfaced was in possession of marijuana. Secondly, when did it become okay to just assume that anybody with Phelps that night is responsible for him or even chose to partake in activities as he did? Is there some sort of new law that enables hidden cameras in all housing in South Carolina and no privacy laws, reasonable cause, actual possession IN-HAND, etc. are needed to prosecute someone for smoking? Last time I checked it wasn’t actually ILLEGAL to SMOKE pot. It was only illegal to POSSESS pot. A far cry from morally acceptable but that is the law. I just know I’ve never heard, seen or read about ANY person being arrested for a picture, especially when NONE of the people arrested so far were in the picture. If that’s the case, I saw a tabloid a couple years ago with a bunch of celebrities with joints hanging out of their mouth or actually holding a bag of marijuana, so I would all 20 or so of the movie stars including Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Sean “Diddy” Combs, etc. to be arrested as well. I mean come on, a couple of power-hungry mongers trying to get famous by worrying about stuff that isn’t relevant to their job, which is getting real criminals: killers; rapists; and gangs off the streets. Quit the witch-hunt.
•Boy this next one is almost the same situation. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig now says he’s contemplating punishment for “A-Rod” after the athlete confessed to a positive drug test in 2003, by the way, which was supposed to be CONFIDENTIAL and never used as terms of suspension or any other punishment. But like the back-stabbing-ignorant leader Selig is, now says he is thinking of a way to punish Rodriguez for his comments about taking steroids from 2001-2003. Are you kidding me? Man this guy throws some stones for living in a big glass house. HE ALONE is responsible for ALL of baseball’s problems. HE presided over this era when there was no drug policy until four years ago, even though a fourth grader could have told you every athlete was on ‘roids during the McGwire/Sosa era and still today. HE did nothing about it for years. HE is the one who should be punished not an athlete who is finally honest about it. Hey, if you can’t check it they’re probably going to do it, which is why athletes continued to take steroids after it was banished in the early 2000s, they still didn’t test for them. Well hey, if you own a store and don’t do drug testing on your employees then two years later an employee tells you he used to smoke pot but has been clean for eight months and has gotten his life on track are you going to fire him? I doubt it.
•The Pistons GM Joe Dumars made a risky move earlier this season acquiring Allen Iverson in a trade, essentially straight up for the popular Pistons hero Chauncey Billups. I was weary about the move in the beginning, even though Iverson has been one of my heroes for a long time. Billups was the glue that held the team together for years. He displayed excellent distribution and handling skills and his big frame for a point guard made him a worthy defender as well. In the long run, the ‘Stones will have a great opportunity to go after some good players in the very near future — assuming they don’t resign the expiring contracts of Rasheed Wallace and Iverson. But for the time being, it looks like the Pistons will continue to struggle in finding a way to becoming a top-notch team. The Pistons have been blessed since Dumars took over as GM, as every major and minor roster move he’s made during his tenure has panned out, with the exception being the Darko Milicic draft pick — although I still believe 99% of the leagues’ GMs would have made the same decision based on the Piston’s needs going into that season, and now the so-far unsuccessful Iverson deal. I’m sure the Pistons will at least make the playoffs but I’m not sure the second round and beyond is our destination this year, which hasn’t been the outlook for sometime in Detroit. But mark my words; Dumars will have this team at the top of the league again this time next year.