Posts Tagged ‘Manny Pacquiao’

1. In last week’s column I wrote that the Cavaliers would bring the city Cleveland its first championship in 50 years. I should of prefaced that by adding, ‘barring injury.’ Now that Kevin Love is done for what appears to be the remainder of the season, the Cavs will more than likely get beaten by the Chicago Bulls in the next round (Yes, the Bulls will get by the Bucks). Fans and media alike have ‘loved’ to pile on Love this season unnecessarily, as those that truly understand the game of basketball were aware of his importance and what his role was with this team.  In his absence, the Cavaliers won’t be able to space the floor as they had been doing, and the open lanes that LeBron James and Kyrie Irving had been accustomed to will be gone. Tristan Thompson was valuable in his role coming off the bench, but his flaws will become much more glaring now that he will be forced to play more minutes. To use a phrase that my former colleague Kenny Roda coined long ago, OIC (only in Cleveland).

2. It’s truly a shame that Kevin Love was taken out by a dude that cannot even grow facial hair, instead opting for the peach fuzz look. In hockey there’s a term for mediocre players that are just put on the ice to get physical with the opposition. They’re called a goon. That’s exactly what Kelly Olynyk is. There’s a difference between setting a hard screen with a push like what Kendrick Perkins did to Jae Crowder and putting a guy in an arm bar and pulling his shoulder out of its socket. Truly a bush league play.

Cavaliers Celtics Basketball

3. For those that are worried about reigning American League Cy Young award winner, Corey Kluber, don’t be. Kluber AKA Klubot will be just fine. Here is a look at his numbers from last April compared to this April.

2014: 2 W, 3 L, 37 IP, 35 K, 10 BB, 2 HR allowed, 4.14 ERA, 1.51 WHIP

2015: 0 W, 3 L, 34 IP, 36 K, 7 BB, 2 HR allowed, 4.24 ERA, 1.26 WHIP

Nearly an identical start from last season, look for Kluber to start dominating hitters in the near future and hopefully the Tribe will start giving him some run support.

4. One player who could help the Indians with their hitting woes is their top prospect, Francisco Lindor. Current starting shortstop Jose Ramirez is hitting a paltry .186 and the Indians as a team are hitting just .234 which is third worst in the American League. Lindor recently went on a 10-16 stretch and appears to have come out of his own early season slump. He’s hit safely in 10 of his last 14 games. The time is right for Lindor to get promoted to the ‘Big Show.’

5. The NFL draft is here which means it’s the time of year that the Cleveland Browns usually waste their picks on garbage players. There’s a report that the Browns are attempting to move up in the draft to take Oregon quarterback Marcus Marriota. That would be a mistake. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner was a great college quarterback, but his talents favor that game, not of the NFL variety. Marriota ran an up-tempo, no huddle, spread option offense taking snaps from the shotgun in college. In the NFL he will be huddling every play, taking snaps from under center, and won’t be able to leave the pocket as frequently as he did at Oregon. He was also injury prone, and while he was never hurt in a major way, that’s sure to change when he’s hit game in and game out by NFL players. This guy has bust written all over him.

6. A lot of Browns fans want to take a wide receiver in the first round. This is another foolish option. The rules in the NFL so highly favor receivers now that an average receiver can be a good receiver while a good receiver can become a great receiver. This was proven just last year when two of the Browns undersized receivers (Andrew Hawkins & Taylor Gabriel) both had successful seasons and proved that they could make plays despite their physical appearance.  There are an abundance of receivers in the college game nowadays that enter the NFL much more ready than previously due to the spread offenses that are being run. The Browns shouldn’t take a receiver in the first or second round when they can still find value in that position later in the draft. It would be a waste of a pick to do so early. Besides, take a look at this years Super Bowl combatants. Neither the Patriots nor the Seahawks have what you would call a playmaking wide receiver. The fact is, you don’t need one to succeed in this day’s NFL. If the Browns are smart (a HUGE if there) and stay where they’re currently sloted to pick in the first round (numbers 12 and 19) they should get NT Danny Shelton, who should be there for them at twelve and if DE Shane Ray falls to them at 19, they should run to the podium and take him.

7. Speaking of Shane Ray, yeah I know he just got pulled over and the officer found weed on him. So what? Marijuana is now legal in over 30 states and will soon be legal in all 50. The majority of NFL players smoke it and it’s really not a big deal. Hell, I’m sure more than half the people reading this column are doing so while puffing on a joint right now. If Ray were a QB, that would be different. You don’t want your quarterback smoking out. But a defensive player that partakes is fine by me. There have been plenty of NFL players that were busted for weed that were among the games elite. Ray has the talent to be among the best DE’s in the league and if other GM’s are afraid to draft him, hopefully Browns GM Ray Farmer won’t be.

8. Another name being thrown out there for the Browns is running back Todd Gurley. That is an absolute joke. If the Browns would draft him, or any other RB in the first or second round, I would seriously consider jumping off the 480 bridge. The NFL is a passing league. The rules are set up for the quarterbacks and receivers to succeed. Running backs are a dime a dozen. There are no ‘featured’ backs anymore with the exception of maybe a few guys. Nearly every team has a RB by committee approach and the Browns should be no different. Why should the browns take a RB that may carry the ball 10-15 times a game in the first or second round? That makes absolutely no sense! And I didn’t even get into the fact that Gurley was hurt twice getting hit by pimple faced college kids. What’s going to happen when he gets hit by grown men? I’ll pass on that option. Besides, the Browns already have two young running backs that complement each other very well.

9. It’s fight week for one of the most anticipated boxing matches in years. Floyd Mayweather is taking on Manny Pacquiao in a fight that is five years in the making. Some people are discouraged that the fight took so long to take place but the fact of the matter is that the fight will be much more competitive and entertaining now then it would have been had they fought five years ago. Mayweather is a defensive wizard, and he’s spent the majority of his career as a ‘hit and not get hit’ defensive minded fighter. Many of his fights have been lackluster due to the fact that he has simply outboxed his foes with tremendous hand speed and perfect foot work to escape without taking any real damage. Mayweather would have taken Pacquiao to school five years ago. Now though, Mayweather isn’t as fleet a foot as he once was and has taken more and more punches in the ring over the last two years. Pacquiao still has that blazing hand speed and with his non stop aggression and constant punches coming from a variety of angles, has a chance to land some shots on Mayweather. I don’t anticipate an upset here (Mayweather is a heavy betting favorite in Vegas) but I do think these two will offer an entertaining fight that will give the fans their money’s worth ($99 on PPV).

10. My dude Casey Kulas has made it official. It’s the ‘Summer of Brisket!’

I’m up for the challenge. If you start to smell the smoke in South Lorain, just follow your nose to La Casa De Castro. I’ll probably have enough to share.

11. There are just 126 days until the college football season begins! Pre-order the Phil Steele College Football Preview aka the College football Bible here:

https://www.philsteele.com/store/

12. Shoe pick of the week. I don’t have these but word on the street is these are the shoes that Manny Pacquiao will be wearing during the Mayweather fight.

pac shoes

13. I know most of you reading this don’t like soccer but so what. This is my column and I do. The Columbus Crew are on fire as they’ve outscored their last two opponents by a 7-1 margin! That’s like 118-3 if you were watching football lol. Oh and Kei Kamara is tied for the lead with the most goals in the MLS this season!

1. Now that the NBA playoffs have started I’ll make my prediction. Those that know me personally can vouch I’ve said this well before the playoffs even started but now I’ll put it down on my column. The Cleveland Cavaliers will win the NBA Finals, ending the city’s 50 years Championship drought, and Kyrie Irving will be named the Finals MVP.

2. Speaking of the NBA playoffs, assuming the Chicago Bulls get by the Milwaukee Bucks, they’ll be next for the Cavaliers. Here’s to hoping D-Rose stays healthy. I, for one, believe the Bulls are a better team WITHOUT Rose. Give me more Rose and less Jimmy Butler. It Just makes the series that much easier for my Cavaliers.

3. Speaking of the Bulls, the series with the Cavs should be fun. We all know how Joakim Noah feels about the City of Cleveland, but do you know what he thinks of LeBron? Well, see for yourself.

 

4. The mega fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is less than two weeks away. Boxers usually walk to the ring with a hype song to get them fired up, however, Pacquiao is going to extreme measures with his ring entrance song. He actually recorded his own song to enter to. Chances are you’ve never heard of it, but lucky for you, I’ve got your back. Check it.

Not my idea of a hype song to say the least. If I was advising Pacquiao, I’d have him enter to something a bit more up-tempo. Something like this.

At least there’s an Ivan Drago reference in my pick.

5. Speaking of the fight, Mayweather is rumored to be making north of $100 million for this fight! ‘Money May’ is already the highest paid athlete in the world and when you have that much money and can have pretty much anything you want, you start purchasing silly things. Case in point. Mayweather has a $25,000 mouthpiece that has actual $100 bills sealed on the inside. Crazy, right? Here’s a look at a few of them.

mouthpiece

6. Recently I was home during the week in the middle of the day and did what any normal American would do when at home during normal business hours. “What’s that, you ask?” Watch The Price is Right of course. Now I have immense pride in Cleveland, the city I was born in, but even I had to question this. Either Cleveland is truly blowing up, or The Price is Right is on the decline. Get this. One of the prizes on the ‘Showcase Showdown’ was a trip to Cleveland with tickets for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! I’m not making this up just to get a laugh either, and yes, you read that correctly. I’ll repeat. One of the prizes on the ‘Showcase Showdown’ was a trip to Cleveland with tickets for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! I’m not talking about one of the prizes that everyone bids on beforehand, now. I’m talking about one of the grand prizes at the end of the show! My jaw is still dropped from that moment lol. I love my city, but even I know that a trip to my hometown shouldn’t be a prize worthy enough for a ‘Showcase Showdown.’ Or am I missing the boat on this one? Cleveland family, feel free to share your thoughts.

7. Got a case of the Monday blues? I’ve got just the answer to wake you up and get you ready to accomplish damn near anything after a party filled weekend. Listen to ‘Pitbull.’ Here’s one such song that should fill your Monday with a little joy.

 

8. I love Spring, mostly because that means winter is over, but I also love spring because of what it brings. No, I’m not talking about the rain or the flowers that begin to bloom. I’m talking about the Aut-O-Rama drive-in movie theatre and the Dog n Suds drive-in restaurant. I’m a sucker for history and how simple things used to be.

dog and suds

9. One of my favorite shows growing up was the Dukes of Hazzard so I was saddened by the passing of Roscoe P. Coltrane. How can you not be entertained by this sheriff.

 

10. If you haven’t seen ‘The Gambler’ starring Mark Wahlberg, don’t even waste your time.

Yes, the trailer makes this movie look good, but just believe me. It’s not.

11. If you’re anything like me, you miss the sound of real Hip-Hop. Today’s version of the genre is horrid, so I was beyond excited to learn that De La Soul was coming out with a new album.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1519102394/de-la-souls-new-album/widget/video.html

12. The College football season is just 135 days away!

13. I picked up a new pair of shoes recently. Here is the latest addition to my addiction.

adidas-supercolor-26

1.  I’m getting tired of every so called “expert” talk about second half adjustments and play calling every time the Cleveland Browns lose a game.  I’ve got an idea, how about the other team just made more plays at more crucial moments? 

2.  If no one showed up to the Q to witness “Quitness” on Thursday, wouldn’t that be the ultimate bitch slap back?  I mean, I don’t want to be anywhere near that Arena during the game.  If everyone followed suit, LePrick would notice just how important he really is.

3.  There isn’t a classier boxer in the world than Ring Magazine number 1 ranked Super Middleweight and former USA Olympic Gold Medal winner Andre Ward.  He wore trunks dedicated to Showtime blow-by-blow announcer Nick Charles as he battled cancer earlier this year, and after his hard fought decision over Sakio Bika on Saturday, he gave a shout out to North East Ohio Native Kelly Pavlik to let him know that he was in Ward’s prayers as the former Middleweight Champion is undergoing alcohol rehabilitation.   

4.  Certain things in life are undeniable.  Death.  Taxes.  And of course The Ohio State University Buckeyes beating Michigan while winning another Big Ten Championship and securing another BCS Bowl bid.

5.  The best basketball in the City continues to be played by the Cleveland State Vikings and it’s not even close.  They are off to the best start in School history at 8-0, and begin Horizon League play this week.  I’m shocked that the Wolstein Center crowds have been non-exhistant.  Truly embarrassing if you ask me.

6.  I’m dropping down $25 to play in the snow at Progressive Field.  There will be more sounds of joy this winter in that ballpark then what was heard all year during the baseball season.   Damn you Larry Dolan.  Damn you.

7.  Jared Sullinger has continued to impress me despite being double and triple teamed continuously down on the block.  He has three double-doubles already, which is the second most by a Freshman behind UK’s Terrence Jones.  Can I get a Buckeye versus Wildcat matchup in the tourney this year??

8.  It’s simply not worth staking out overnight to get Black Friday deals.  Wait it out and you will find deals that are just as good on Cyber Monday from the comforts of your own home. 

9.  Jake Delhomme should put the football down and pick the clipboard back up.  As much of a veteran as he is, I’m still astonished at the decision he makes with the football.  INT after INT.  He’s like a poor man’s JaMarcus Russell.

10.  Kelly Pavlik was reportedly in rehab ten days before his fight with Sergio Mora.  Ten days.  Pavlik was winning the fight before suffering his second cut over his eye and therefore, unable to see punch’s coming his way.  This is astonishing given how much Martinez’s stock has risen.  Had Pavlik been on the straight and narrow, he would have destroyed Martinez and would be on everyone’s pound for pound list.  Sad story about Pavlik.  Knowing him personally makes it even more difficult for me.  I wish him the best and hope he comes back. 

11.  The biggest pet peeve in the world is getting ready to park in a parking space at the grocery store and when you’re just about to pull in, there’s a empty shopping cart in the way.  SMDH.

12.  Manny Pacquiao isn’t fighting Juan Manuel Marquez again.  At least not next.  The reason?  Marquez will beat him.

13.  Despite not scoring a goal in Barcelona’s 5-0 thrashing of Real Madrid, my boy Lio Messi set up David Villa for two perfect goals and was the Man of the Match, drawing six fouls and controlling the middle of the pitch

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1.  Running back Peyton Hillis, left tackle Joe Thomas, and center Alex Mack will make the Pro Bowl this season.  I don’t see anyone making it from the defensive side of the ball, as the Cleveland Browns defense tends to be more of a team defense playing together as one unit, rather than relying on a few playmakers on that side of the ball to control opposing offenses.    

2.  Cavaliers point guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson deserves props.  Not only for his play on the basketball court, but for his charity in the Browns team shop during the team’s loss to the Jets on Sunday.  Gibson tweeted during the game, which he was attending, “headed to the team shop..Free gear on me if you here!!  He’s must follow status now!!

3.  I’m much happier that Antonio Margacheato sustained a prolonged beating for 12 rounds against Manny Pacquiao on Saturday, rather than suffering an early knockout loss.  Margacheato should of been banned from the sport forever after he attempted to enter the ring with loaded gloves when he took on Shane Mosley in 2009.  He will suffer more long term damage from that beating, and he deserves whatever health issues he will be dealt with.     

4.  Terrell Pryor is going to have a big time game on Saturday in Iowa.  Mark it down.  Take my word for it.  He’s too much of a competitor and the fact that people are counting him out right now will feed into his hunger. 

5.  Cleveland State’s Norris Cole is the most exciting basketball player in the city.  He is the Horizon League Athlete of the week and his Vikings are 4-0, matching the best start in school history.  Cole is a senior, and was a first team All-Horizon League selection last season.  He is averaging 22.3 points/game this season.

6.  It’s the offseason for the Indians and the GM winter meetings are underway.  That means the Tribe is in the market for a pitcher that is coming off an injury.  Brandon Webb anyone?  My bet is he will be wearing a Cleveland uniform next year.  Damn you Larry Dolan.  Damn you.

7.  The best basketball player in the state of Ohio is Jared Sullinger.  He’s already convinced me that he can eat whatever he wants and it won’t matter.  I was comparing his weight to that of “Tractor” Traylor last week, but the bottom line is he has accomplished more in two games than Traylor ever did in his entire college and professional basketball career.

8.  Don’t text and drive.  Please.  Don’t text and drive.

9.  I’m not saying that Eric Mangini had a good draft class in 2009, and the Massaquoi and Robiskie apparent busts really stick out, but what about the Alex Mack pick?  I’d take a Pro Bowl player in any draft.  Also, it was Mangini who brought up bringing Peyton Hillis to Cleveland, after watching him as a member of the Broncos. 

10.  I, like everyone else, want to see Pacquiao and Mayweather square off in the ring.  I do, however, find it astonishing that despite adding over 50 pounds since turning pro, Pacquiao is as fast and as powerful as ever.  The whispers about steroids have been out there, and if Mayweather is going to go through the Olympic style drug testing to prove he is clean, then Pacquiao should as well.

11.  I was going to call out my kids for not letting me get the proper amount of sleep I need to be a productive member of society, but I was afraid my words would get taken out of context.  I feel you Leboob.  I understand.  SMDH.

12.  There are already too many weight classes in boxing, and now we are getting more with all the catch weight fights.  The Pacquiao/Margacheato fight was at a catch weight, and this week’s big fight is also at a catch weight.  Martinez is the middleweight champion of the World.  If Williams wants the title, the fight should be at the 160 pound middleweight limit.  When will the madness end?

13.  Ohio is the Soccer capital of the World!!  No, just kidding, but Ohio just may be the soccer capital of the USA.  Cleveland St. Ignatius was named the National Champions after their perfect 23-0 season, and Akron has a chance to become back to back national champions as they are currently participating in the College Cup.

Ring Ratings Update: Pacquiao moves to No. 1 in welterweight rankings.

Ring Magazine #1 Pound for Pound boxer Manny Pacquiao will battle as Antonio Margarito at a catch weight in the Jr. middleweight division

Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao                                                       Antonio “The Tijuana Tornado” Margarito

51-3-2, 38 KO’s                                                  VS.                               38-6, 27 KO’s
5’6 ½, 144 ½ pounds, 31 yrs. old                                                    5’11, 150 pounds, 32 yrs. old
General Santos City, Philippines                                                       Tijuana, Mexico

Strengths:                                                                                                Strengths:

Southpaw Style                                                                                          Aggressive style
Speed                                                                                                             Chin
Two handed power                                                                                  Hunger/Desire

Weaknesses:                                                                                          Weaknesses:

Can be outboxed                                                                                      Defense              
Outside distractions                                                                               Inactivity

  • Pacquiao is coming off a 12 round unanimous decision over Joshua Clottey in March.  He has won 12 fights in a row, dating back to 2005.
  • Margarito is coming off a 10 round unanimous decision over Roberto Garcia in May.  Before that he was knocked out by Shane Mosley in which it was discovered before the fight that his gloves had been inserted with illegal knuckle pads. 

This fight came together after the biggest fight in boxing, Manny Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather fell through for a second time.  Antonio Margarito, who is promoted by the same promoter as Pacquiao, Top Rank, was an easy choice as a replacement for the company. 

Margarito was known as one of the most feared men in boxing until his unforgettable night against Mosley.  He was in everyone’s pound for pound list, and was coming off a huge knockout win over previous unbeaten Miguel Cotto.  The hand wrap scandal has put a huge question on Margarito’s past.  How long has he been fighting with illegal hand wraps?  That question will probably never be known, but Margarito can silence his critics with a win against Pacquiao. 

Pacquiao is known as the “Mexican killer,” due to his tendency for knocking off Mexican fighters such as Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, and Marco Antonio Barrera.  Margarito will be the biggest Mexican that the Filipino has entered the ring against. 

Despite the size advantage for Margarito, who weighed in six pounds heavier, and could be fifteen pounds heavier on fight night, I don’t see Pacquiao having much trouble with him.  Margarito is an aggressive, come forward fighter, which plays right into the hands of Pacquiao.  Add to that the propensity to get hit and the speed at which Pacquiao’s shots will come, I see Margarito folding as he did against Mosley.  Margarito simply hasn’t been active enough, and hasn’t seen the speed of someone like Pacquiao.  This is going to give him fits.  I see Pacquiao stopping Margarito in the tenth round.  After which, he and trainer Freddie Roach will again call out Floyd Mayweather, and hopefully, for boxing’s sake, that mega fight will happen.

Here is the video of two of the biggest Asses in boxing, Antonio Margarito or Margacheato and Brandon Rios, making fun of Freddie Roach, who suffers from Parkinsons disease from his many ring wars.  Roach is the trainer of boxing great Manny Pacquiao.  Pacquiao and Margacheato square off on Saturday in Dallas at Cowboys stadium.  The mocking starts at the 2:05 mark.

1.  Colt McCoy will be the starting quarterback for the rest of the year, barring injury.  I know, I know, this is a gimee.  Bottom line is this, McCoy gives the Cleveland Browns a better chance to win on Sunday’s than either Jake Delhomme or Seneca Wallace.  No way I thought I would say this at the beginning of the season.  Plus, hopefully, the TV camera’s will show his wife on the screen some more:

All she needs is a kids sized McCoy Jersey!

2.  Despite the Cavaliers starting the season relatively well, they won’t win 40 games.  Look at the roster folks.  They just don’t have enough talented players to compete night in and night out in the NBA.  Outside of JJ and Andy, name me one other player that really jumps out at you…..I’m still waiting.

3.  Juan Manuel Lopez wouldn’t stand a chance against Rafael Marquez if they were both in their prime.  Lopez was able to stop Marquez last Saturday, but Marquez is an “old” 35 in boxing years.  He’s been in some wars, and he still was able to land some remarkable shots on Lopez, who is in his prime as I write this.  As good as Lopez is, Marquez was GREAT!

4.  The Ohio State football Buckeyes will be going to another BCS Bowl this season.  They have three games left, Penn State in C-Bus, at Iowa, and SCum in C-Bus.  Penn State doesn’t stand a chance.  Just not a good team this year.  The Hawkeyes will give the Bucks a game, but TP2 will be the difference, and SCum, well, let me think.  All I have to say is it’s been 2,545 days since that team has beaten my beloved Buckeyes.  ‘Nuff said.

5.  The Cleveland State Vikings will be a force to be reckoned with in the Horizon League this season.  I cannot wait to see this team in action come conference time.  Head Coach Gary Waters has an incredible basketball IQ, and when DeAundrey “I Hustle like Andy Varejao” Brown comes back from injury, the Vikings will have all five starters back from last seasons squad.

6.  Tobogganing and sledding at Progressive Field this winter with my kids will give me fonder memories then the Cleveland Indians did with their AAA brand of baseball.  It’s truly horrendous what has happened to my baseball team.  Damn you Larry Dolan.  Damn you.

7.  Jared Sullinger better watch his weight or he might end up like Robert “Tractor” Traylor.  Remember when “Tractor” was supposed to take over college basketball?  I do.  Then I saw this fat, sloppy looking dope on the court and thought, “what the hell is that?”  He looked like a black Pillsbury doughboy.  And I’m being nice to Mr. Pillsbury. 

Is this how Sullinger wants to end up looking like?

8.  If you like pasta as much as I do, find an Italian and have them show you how to make real sauce.  Thanks to my brother-in-law, who has just enough “Pizon” left in him to know what he is doing in the kitchen; I will now be overweight for the rest of my life.  I really don’t care.  What can I say?  I LOVE to eat.

9.  Eric Mangini is a legit coach.  You don’t end up on Bill Belichick’s coaching staff by accident people.  As long as he can get NFL players to buy into his “team” coaching concepts, this guy will win.  He was unjustly fired by the Jets, and on Sunday, they will feel his wrath.

10.  Manny Pacquiao is going to dominate Antonio Margacheato on Saturday.  I don’t care how big Margacheato is, do people realize that he has done nothing in the last 24 months to justify him getting into the ring with the most explosive man in boxing?  The last time Margacheato was declared a winner against a legit opponent was in July of 2008, when he and his plaster loaded gloves knocked out Miguel Cotto.  Oh wait, allegedly plaster loaded gloves.  SMDH.

11.   The NBA is pure garbage, outside of a few big matchups, before March.  Don’t waste your time trying to figure out how teams are going to pan out right now, it simply isn’t worth it.  The teams that belong in the playoffs, will be in the playoffs, and the players will really start playing as the season wears down.

12.  Major League Baseball gives out gold gloves like the WBC gives out boxing belts.  This is not good news.  Derek Jeter a gold glover?  Really?  Really…..? 

13.  Lionel Messi will turn you into a soccer fan if you give him a chance.  Trust me.