Happy hump day to all!
This is the last full week for us here before we get to go home for the Holiday break. My final is on Monday and my final paper is due on Wednesday. So you know what that means? Tuesday will be spent sleeping (after our 7 am weight session) and possibly playing Guitar Hero until my arm feels like Joel Zumaya's (if you have no idea who he is, check him out on ESPN.com or Wikipedia).
I promised you all a Johan update today and that is what you will get!
Currently, it has been reported that the Twins are still in preliminary talks with several teams but are not any closer than they were during the winter meetings. Although some new tidbits of information have come out and here they are:
- The Twins are leaning more towards the Jacoby Ellsbury, Justin Masterson, Jed Lowrie and a 4th prospect deal from the Red Sox as opposed to the deal that would include Jon Lester.
- The Angels may still be in the running for Johan. The Twins really like Jered Weaver and they may have enough players to make it work. The only thing is if they are willing to spend the money when starting pitching really isn't what they need right now.
- Some consider the Mets to only be involved in the Johan talks to keep their fans happy. The Mets really don't have anything to offer the Twins that is not named Jose Reyes or David Wright. Although many rumors have Johan stating that he wants to go to the NL because he likes hitting. I would also like him to go there so that we don't see him except for every couple of years.
- Yankees pitcher Kei Igawa has been involved in talks with the Twins now. No one really knows how serious the Yankees are anymore. Brian Cashman doesn't want to do a deal and Hank Steinbrenner does? Weird, a Steinbrenner and Cashman disagreement? Some things never change...
- Finally, some circles have mentioned the Rangers as being involved with the Johan talks. People question this because A) Who do the Rangers have to offer? (Maybe Michael Young and Hank Blalock?) and B) Would Johan even go to Texas? It's a hitters park for a pitcher that struggled with giving up home runs last year. This is the least likely destination for Johan if he is indeed traded by the Twins.
The big news yesterday was the conviction of Michael Vick. He got 23 months in federal prison for his involvement in a national dog fighting ring. The judge was quoted as saying that he would not have made the punishment as severe except for the fact that Vick lied to him and also had marijuana in his system between the time he was arrested and convicted. So basically, he was punished for being an idiot.
Vick has admitted to hanging dogs, drowning them as well as electrocuting them. He was only sentenced to 23 months in prison because he has already served a month. He will be released summer of 2009 unless he is released earlier for good behavior. I expect that he will be released early because according to some reports, all he does is sit in his cell or lift weights or play basketball. Some even have noted that he is in better shape and stronger than he ever was when he wasn't a resident of the state.
Michael Vick made a mistake that a lot of people have made. He got involved in something that a lot of people in the south are involved in and got caught. He should have realized that with his superstar status that he should have distanced himself from anything that would not make him look good in the public eye. It seems to be a running theme among our African-American athletes these days. Many of them want to keep their old friends around because they don't want to "sell out" and those friends are hanging on because of the fact that they immediately are available to someone who can provide things for them.
I have never been and do not imagine I ever will be in this situation, but where does it stop? Just because a man has a family and moves away and seperates himself from a situation that is no longer suitable for his lifestyle he becomes a sell out? Our society needs to celebrate success on all levels as opposed to labeling people sell outs. Bring your immediate family with you and start the new life that you were blessed with.
After watching the funeral of Sean Taylor, his pastor made the effort to show the world that Sean had matured. He had seperated himself from the people and area that he knew was bad for him. He started going to church and caring for his family. It is absolutely tragic the way that his life had to end but if there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it's that he started to turn his life around. Many other athletes should take lessons from Sean Taylor on how to change their lives for the better.
Michael Vick screwed up and now has to pay the price for it. I am not interested in finding out more details about the "Bad Newz Kennelz" or anything else, I am interested in how he changes his life ( or doesn't) when he is released.
Enjoy your day and come back on Friday for the return of "Land-O-Links"!