Spain wins Euro 2012, MLB All-Stars and snubs, Andrews leaving ESPN-The Monday Morning Realist

Twitter: @Li495Akiem

Spain Again

Stop me if you have heard this phrase over the past fewyears: “The Cup belongs to Spain!”

(Insert Stop Sign Here)

¡La España estan Campeones para una otra vez! (The Spanishare champions again!) This is now the third consecutive major international football championship that they have won. They prevailed at UEFA Euro 2008 whenit was held in Austria & Switzerland. They prevailed when the 2010 World Cup took place in South Africa. Now, they repeat again with Euro 2012 in Poland & the Ukraine. They’re the first team in history to win 3 consecutive major tourneys in a row.

Many are now calling this Spanish team the one of the (if notthe greatest) of all time. Coming into their final vs. the Italians, they were seen as heavy favorites. Most felt that Germany would give Spain a better runfor their dinero, but they lost in stunning fashion in the semifinals thanks to Mario Balotelli. Italy beat Portugal in penalty kicks due (in part) to Cristiano Ronaldo not even having a chance to kick for the Portuguese. In thosemoments, Ronaldo was LeBron James & Portugal was the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The game commenced at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev—it was acoronation from the Spanish from minute #1 to minute #90 (and the stoppage timethat ensued afterwards). It was 2-0 heading into halftime, then the Spanish got2 late goals in the last 10 minutes before stoppage time to serve as an exclamation point to the Euro 2012 tournament—as well as their continued dominance over international football.

Fernando Torres (somehow) won the Golden Boot, obviously UEFA’sversion of the MVP award. He & Juan Mata scored in the last 10 minutes while early goals were delivered by David Silva and Jordi Alba. This one probably been should’ve been stopped early.

Let’s just hope that when they have their victory parade in Madrid that Sergio Ramos doesn’t drop his trophy again like he did in the Real Madrid parade.

Polls Have Closed—no ExitPolls Needed

MLB’s All-Stars have been chosen for 2012 in Kansas City’sKauffman Stadium.

NL Starters:

Buster Posey—C—Giants

Joey Votto—1B—Reds

Dan Uggla—2B—Braves

Rafael Furcal—SS—Cardinals

Pablo Sandoval—3B—Giants

Melky Cabrera—OF—Giants

Carlos Beltran—OF—Cardinals

Matt Kemp—OF—Dodgers

NL Pitchers:

Matt Cain—Giants

Aroldis Chapman—Reds

R.A. Dickey—Mets

Gio Gonzalez—Nationals

Cole Hamels—Phillies (for now consider that there are traderumours about him)

Joel Hanrahan—Pirates

Clayton Kershaw—Dodgers

Craig Kimbrel—Braves

Lance Lynn—Cardinals

Wade Miley—Diamondbacks

Johnathan Papelbon—Phillies

Stephen Strasburg—Nationals

Huston Street—Padres

NL Reserves:

Yadier Molina—C—Cardinals

Carlos Ruiz—C—Phillies

Bryan LaHair—1B—Cubs

Jose Altuve—2B—Astros

Starlin Castro—SS—Cubs

Ian Desmond—SS—Nationals

David Wright—3B—Mets

Ryan Braun—OF—Brewers

Jay Bruce—OF—Reds

Carlos Gonzalez—OF—Rockies

Andrew McCutchen—OF—Pirates

GianCarlo Stanton—OF–Marlins

AL Starters:

Mike Napoli—C—Rangers

Prince Fielder—1B—Tigers

Robinson Cano—2B—Yankees

Adrian Beltre—3B—Rangers

Derek Jeter—SS—Yankees

Josh Hamilton—OF—Rangers

Curtis Granderson—OF—Yankees

Jose Bautista—OF—Blue Jays

David Ortiz—DH—Red Sox

AL Pitchers:

Ryan Cook—A’s

Matt Harrison—Rangers

Felix Hernandez—Mariners

Jim Johnson—Orioles

Joe Nathan—Rangers

Chris Perez—Indians

David Price—Rays

Fernando Rodney—Rays

CC Sabathia—Yankees

Chris Sale—White Sox

Justin Verlander—Tigers

Jered Weaver—Angels

C.J. Wilson—Angels

AL Reserves:

Joe Mauer—C—Twins

Matt Wieters—C—Orioles

Elvis Andrus—SS—Rangers

Asdrubal Cabrera—SS—Indians

Miguel Cabrera—3B—Tigers

Ian Kinsler—2B—Rangers

Paul Konerko—1B—White Sox

Adam Jones—OF—Orioles

Mike Trout—OF—Angels

Mark Trumbo—OF—Angels

Billy Butler—OF—Royals

Adam Dunn—DH—White Sox

I don’t want to make this one too long, but two things stickout to me & both are on the National League side. #1 there is no reason whyAndrew McCutchen shouldn’t be a starter other than the fact that he plays inPittsburgh—a Pirates team that is actually in a pennant race this year, by theway. The 2nd thing is how has Pablo Sandoval, who hasn’t even playeda good bit of the first half, be a starter at 3B over David Wright?

Many questioned how Mets Slugger David Wright isn’t the starting third-baseman for the National League.

Also of note—Josh Hamilton was the leading vote getter by farout of all of the All-Stars. He received over 11,000,000 votes. The leading vote getter on the NL side was the San Francisco Giants’ Melky Cabrera. The G-Men’s Melk Man received over 7,000,000 votes.

Not to mention, there is already controversy over the absenceof two Cincinnati Reds from the team—Johnny Cueto and Brandon Philips. Some ofthe Reds’ faithful are already attributing the snubs to the fact that Tony LaRussa is the NL manager since he won the World Series with the Cardinals lastyear. Philips got himself into a notable brawl with Yadier Molina in GreatAmerican Ball Park last year that cleared the benches on the heels on verbalshots the two teams took last year prior to the bench-clearer.

La Russa, of course, retired shortly after winning the Fall Classic, but will return for one final time in Kansas City, MO/KS. Reds skipperDusty Baker was questionable of the move as well. La Russa attributed it toBaker’s plans to start Cueto the Sunday before the All-Star Game. MLB Network,though, noted that the rules have changed for pitchers that go the Sunday priorto MLB’s Mid-Summer Classic to play in the game.

Abandon (Mother)ship!

It was made official this week that Erin Andrews was leavingESPN for Fox Sports. Erin’s bread & butter (for more reasons than one) is college football. Andrews will continue to cover NCAAF for Fox. She’ll host a 30-minute pregame show that will air before college football games on Fox.Also, she’ll be covering NFL & MLB for them as well. This could mean she’dalso do work with the MLB Network since they now collaborate on pregame for Baseball Night in America on Saturday Nights.

This is the 3rd major departure that Bristol hasexperienced this year—and 1 for each major rival. At the beginning of the year,Jim Rome defected for the CBS Sports Network & Showtime. He now does a 30minute show on CBSSN in the same format as his former “Jim Rome is Burning on ESPN”.

Then, Colin Cowherd lost his partner in crime as MichelleBeadle ditched SportsNation to play the G-E-C chimes for NBC. Beadle will debuther new show on the NBC Sports Network eventually. She’s already working withBilly Bush on Access Hollywood & will be hosting Olympics coverage for NBC& Friends from London.

Now, goes EA. Most people don’t know this because how mucheye candy she’s become for college kids, but she actually started her nationalsports career with TBS. She provided updates when TBS was the nationalbroadcaster for Atlanta Braves baseball for the 2002 and 2003 seasons.

Needless to say, it will no longer be a slam dunk for ESPN to keep most of their top-notch talent as they have in the past. Scott Van Pelt almost left the 4-letter Network as well. NBC now has a 24-hour sports network and is in the process of creating their own sports radio channel. CBS has a sports network and will debut a new 24/7 sports radio network this January. Fox is also rumoured to be creating a 24/7 sports TV network to compliment their regional FSNs.

SportsCasters like Van Smack, Beads, and EA now have options and those options are likely to shell out top-dollar for ESPN-level talent to beefup their own sports properties.

No(Lympics), Canada!

In what has to be troubling news for our buddies North of the Border, two of its largest broadcasters in Bell Media and the CBC have broken off their joint bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi & the 2016 SummerGames in Rio de Janeiro.

Originally, both were teaming up to alleviate the high costsof broadcasting a huge event like the Olympic Games, which some broadcaster shave seen as a liability. This year, as well as in 2010 in Vancouver, Bell willbe teaming with Rogers Communications to provide round-the-clock Olympicscoverage for Canada.

Bell owns the largest private network in Canada, CTV. Theyalso own one of Canada’s biggest sports networks in TSN/TSN2. RDS/RDS2 is theFrench-language equivalent to TSN, primarily for Quebec. That province’sprimary language is French.

Rogers also owns a huge sports channel in Canada—Rogers SportsNet as well as two sports radio channels in Toronto and Calgary under the same name. Rogers’ Sports Net is more regional, similar to Fox’s FSNs. They’repulling out of Olympics broadcasting entirely after London and Bell says they’redone as well with the Games.

This could leave the CBC on an Olympic island. The CBC isCanada’s largest public broadcaster and a Canadian institution. But, it has incurred huge budget cuts lately from the government in Ottawa, which hurt its flexibility in bidding for the Olympics. The CBC would like for Olympic rightsto return to them given that they’re a heritage Olympic broadcaster.

The CBC and Bell offered two low-money bids to the IOC, butboth were rejected.

Two things are complicating this: CBC, Bell, and Rogers’pockets are strapped since they seem to be putting more emphasis on acquiringthe rights to Hockey Night in Canada—the marquee Canadian sports show on TV.Landing HNiC is like landing Monday Night Football stateside. Most Canadians would probably like to see the CBC retain those rights, but with their budgetissues, Bell & Rogers have a real shot at landing HNiC. This would be ahuge blow to one of the things that has made the CBC the CBC over the years.

Also, no Canadian network is willing to offer top-dollar forthe Olympics unless they get assurance that the NHL will send its players toparticipate in the hockey events in Sochi. This is a real shame since a huge percentage of NHL players are from Russia & would love to play for theircountry in front of their homeland fans.

But with their collective bargaining agreement expiring this September, that’s a more slippery slope than it probably should be. Playing in Sochi could be a huge issue in CBA talks since owners think they own theplayers like toys & can keep them from playing for their country. MarkCuban and other idiot owners in the NBA have expressed similar concerns aboutNBA players. I still say that once the NHL is clearer about its Sochi plans,CBC and Bell will start throwing the big $$$ at the IOC.

This is why there has been talk that Yahoo Canada (of allpeople) could also make a run at Canadian Olympics rights. Such a developmentwould be monumental for the Olympics on the Internet (as well as Internet TV),but it would be embarrassing for CBC & CTV if they were indeed so concernedwith the NHL that they were beat out by a prospective netcaster.

And if all else fails, there’s always USA-centric NBC. NBCwould have to create a special section on their website just to pick up theslack for Canadian Olympic aficionados if such a thing were to happen.

“Think happy thoughts!”—says Canada to me.

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Posted on July 2, 2012, in College Football, MLB, NBA and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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