I've heard of players being fined for all sorts of reasons, like missing a team flight, misconduct during practice, fighting, or other various reasons. But honestly, this is the first time I've ever heard of a player being fined for drinking a beer during the match. Ok, it's not like he was drinking on the bench, either, it was a situation where the player, Burnley's Steven Thompson, fell into PGE Park's Beer Garden trying to go after a ball and fell on a table that some folks were sitting at. The Beer Garden is at field level, and you are only about 10 feet from the pitch, so I'm surprised that we haven't heard more about players crashing into the area during games. But what got Thompson in trouble was the fact he drank from one of the pints on the table and then returned to the pitch. Well, it was a hot night and I'm sure that you get thirsty running about.
The Seahawks' news sources are abuzz with the fact that it's rumoured that the NFL team up north might be a destination for disgraced NFL quarterback Michael Vick. It's true that the new coach in Seachicken land, Jim Mora Jr, was the coach in Atlanta when Vick had his best seasons before the wheels came off as he was convicted of animal abuse and cruelty amongst other things. Vick was conditionally reinstated by the NFL this week, and the commissioner, Roger Goodell, is keeping an eye on the situation so his actual return date is up in the air. I only have interest in this story as much as if there was a team that might need talent like what Vick could do on the field, it's the Hawks. The problem is whether the firestorm of publicity and comments that would come from a signing is worth the trouble. Granted, Vick has served his sentence and paid restitution to the legal system for what he did, but I'm not sure that he's really repaid his full debt.
I own pets, and couldn't fathom doing to them what it is shown that Vick did with his animals as part of his dog fighting ring. I would hate to think that anyone would be capable of doing such cruelty, but at the same time, there's plenty of things that happen out there that boggle my mind. Playing in the NFL isn't a right, it's a privilege and one that I think Vick has to do a lot more to show he's worthy of this honor. He's got enough talent, and let's face it, there are organizations out there that will take a chance on it simply because the talent of what he has done in the past is too powerful to ignore. As much as we would like to think that character and integrity mean a lot in sports, ultimately, winning will triumph over most things and some team will take the chance that Vick would help them win without damaging the chemistry.
Somebody will give him a chance, and it will cause a ground swell for a time until the next great crisis comes along. Being in the front row to watch the Trail Blazers go through their problems from wonderfully talented and good guy team in the 90's to winning team but troublesome chemistry team in the early 00's to massive implosion of problems and train wreck and now a rebirth. Good teams need chemistry, talent and a lot of luck to win, and sometimes I feel you can take a chance on a guy with some blemishes in his past if you have a team with strong character that can help keep things in line. My problem with the Vick situation is that while he's paid his legal debt, I'm just not sure there's a team that could handle the baggage and distraction that he will bring. If there is one guy that can't afford to relapse or get into any sort of trouble, it's this guy, which is why I'm not sure he could find a home in the NFL, especially if you have a large group of media that will be watching every move, and scrutinize it at every level. I'm not sure anyone could live under that kind of microscope.
Randy Ready is now the former manager of the Portland Beavers, but it's because he got a new job, as he is the newest hitting instructor for the San Diego Padres. With the number of injuries and callups from Portland all year, Ready will actually end up reuniting with many of his former players in going to San Diego, so he might be able to help their anemic offense. But then again, after trading your ace pitcher away, offense might not be your only issue.
Granted, San Diego is a beautiful city and they do support their baseball team rather well. But with troubles in their ownership, as their owner needing to shed payroll and talent being traded away from time to time, I can imagine that being a Padre fan can be frustrating. And since Portland is the triple AAA team, we are affected by a lot of what they do, including watching talent be here one day and then gone the next. I'm hoping that at some point, the organization can stabilize to the point where you can provide some strength and build some teamwork. But as long as San Diego remains a smaller market trying to survive, this is probably the reality of what we will see with the Beavers over the next few years. Just remember when watching the game, you might need a scorecard just to know who's playing on the field.
Have a good weekend all, and enjoy the sun! It appears the heatwave that hit Portland is come and gone, as we suffered from over 100 degree heat for most of the week. I can't believe that I'm excited about it being 93 outside!!!