Have Some Respect

In case you live under a rock, Derek Jeter retired last week. And even though I found the season-long Farewell Tour to be a teensy bit obnoxious, Jeter is easily one of the greatest baseball players, ever. But as I watched the coverage and social media unfold, I noticed there were quite a few people that still showed Jeter no respect. And as a Red Sox fan who refuses to say rude things about Derek Jeter just because he plays for the Yankees, it got me thinking: Who are people that are consistently disrespected by the collection of Haters & Internet Trolls that seem to be plaguing our nation?  And probably deserve our collective respect at this point? So here’s a list of people that I think have earned respect, even if we may not want to give them any:

1. Derek Jeter

RE2PECT. I mean, the entire campaign features the word ‘Respect’ and his number 2 in it. Derek Jeter played the game right and taught a generation of children that it is possible to win, lose, or be a mega successful athlete without acting like a jerkface. He had class, there was never a whiff of steroid use (even though he played in the Steroid Era), and he deserves our respect. I tip my cap, to the Captain.

jeter

2. Paris Hilton

The original “famous for being famous” starlet has a distinct lack of any discernible talent and still became a household name with a perfume line, record deal, and several television shows and film roles. She may be one of the smartest celebrities to ever walk the red carpet, exhibiting a savvy ability to manipulate paparazzi and an early adopter of social media. Now, some people might be unhappy that she paved the way for the Kardashians and thus wish Paris had been content to be a hotel mogul – but that doesn’t take away from the fact that she managed to manipulate her name into a successful career.

3. President Barack Obama

I know, I know. His approval rating is at an all-time low and times are crazy. But. He has the hardest job on the planet. And it’s one of those jobs that is completely thankless and it is impossible to please everyone. Anyone, really. Every decision he makes is questioned by an entire country of citizens who do not even remotely know everything involved with those decisions. Imagine if every single move you made was examined and discussed relentlessly? We will never know what goes into his decisions. Show some respect to the leader of the free world. His job is tough.

4. Taylor Swift

Country lovers think she’s too Pop. Pop lovers think she’s too Country. The whole world seems to think all she does is date too many boys. When in reality, she is a 7-time Grammy winner, participates in extensive philanthropic efforts, writes all her own songs, and doesn’t date  more than any other 20-something. And in a sea of no talent, booty-shaking, lingerie-wearing Pop starlets? Her dedication to being an excellent role model for her fans is impressive. Plus, she loves cats. A girl after my own heart. But hey, the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.

swift

5. Angelina Jolie

Cheater, cheater pumpkin eater. And whoa, I’m #teamjen for life. But. She is a humanitarian and Goodwill Ambassador that has donated thousands of dollars and hours to various charities. And has simultaneously become both the face for adoption and the punch line of every adoption joke ever. But adopting children in need while dedicating your life to various charity organizations is probably worth our respect. Plus – Tomb Raider and Hackers? The best.

jolie

Honorable Mentions:

LeBron James: But he’s an arrogant jerkface and I already said everything I need to say about him HERE. And, I own this place, so… sorry, not sorry.

The Kardashians: Ugh. FINE. They work hard at being famous. But they’re off the list because I can really only handle Paris. And Paris was the trendsetter.

Any major sport commissioner: They all have a thankless job where every choice they make is also questioned. But since Goodell isn’t exactly hitting it out of the park lately, I felt like maybe he needs to earn some respect back and I’ll leave them all off the list.

Alright. That’s my list of people that have earned my respect, even if I didn’t want to give it. And remember, you don’t have to like any of these people – but I think at this point, they have earned everyone’s respect.

Anyone you would add? Someone that doesn’t get the respect they deserve? Or someone you do respect, but begrudgingly? 

Ghost on First!

Here’s a special edition of “That’s What He Said” featuring Josh’s dear Mom, Judi. She probably won’t be super thrilled to be featured on the blog, but the following interaction was just too perfect to not post… Sorry Judi, but you and Josh are two of the most inadvertently funny people I have ever met!

Judi, Josh and I spent Saturday night watching the Cleveland Indians play some baseball. In the fourth inning, Indians’ second baseman Jason Kipnis reached first base on a bunt. His picture was shown up on the JumboTron, as every other Indians player had been throughout the game. It looked a little something like this:

Indians one

Judi: “So this Jason Kipnis? He died?”

Me: “Died? No, he bunted.”

Judi: “Well they keep showing his picture up on the screen a lot so I thought maybe he died and it was a tribute or something.”

Me, laughing so hard: “He’s the guy standing on first… they put everyone’s photo up on the screen when they’re batting.”

Josh: “Ghost on FIRST!”

Judi, slightly annoyed at our laughter: “Well it says 2014 under his name! Why would they do that?”

Me: “Because it is 2014? It’s under everyone’s name.”

….And, as luck would have it…. batting next in the Indians’ lineup….

Indians 3

Me, still laughing: “Now Jesus… Jesus may no longer be with us.”

Josh: “Wow, 2014 was a tough year for Major League Baseball. May Jesus rest in peace.”

Ohhh Judi, how we love you! Thanks for a great weekend and some wonderful times!

The Cheater List

In light of Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda being tossed from the Red Sox game last night for pine tar, and after a text request from a friend, I decided to post a Cheater List. Now. On the subject of pine tar – I get that the baseball pros say pine tar for grip is fine, it’s an accepted part of the game and if something could “barely” be considered cheating, this is it. But. It’s still technically illegal. So all I need is Pineda to be less obvious. The rules still apply to you Pineda and the other team can’t ignore it if it’s smeared on your neck. UPDATE: MLB needs Pineda to be less obvious too – he was just handed a ten game suspension.

That being said, Pineda is the inspiration for the Cheater List, but certainly won’t be making my Cheater List. So here are some infamous cheaters and why they made my list. And by the way… I don’t want anyone to get confused – I don’t need “proof” of these cheaters. I own this place.

 1. Alex Rodriguez

Even though I’ll be addressing steroid use in baseball later in this post, I felt A-Fraud deserves his own entry. His cheating has gone past steroids and crossed into slapping the ball out of a glove, yelling “got it!” while running the bases… and even accusations of tipping pitches to the opposite team during lopsided games. Cheating for the other team? Worst cheater ever. And if this list was meant to be ranked, he would have been towards the top anyways.

2. Brad Pitt

How could you do that to Jen? America’s sweetheart? The woman that gave us the “Rachel”? This still upsets me. #teamjen

The Rachel

3. Chad Knaus

This guy was reader submitted (I have a reader! Happy dance). My dear friend Greg, who texted me this list idea, insisted on Chad Knaus making the Cheater List. When he mentioned it, the following inner dialogue took place:

“I have no idea who this guy is. Oh, look at that… Google says he’s the crew chief for Jimmie Johnson. Huh. That place that makes delicious subs has a crew chief? No, wait… That’s Jimmy John’s.  Jimmie Johnson is a NASCAR driver. Oh that makes much more sense. I love Jimmy John’s. Turkey Tom please!”

Anyways, according to Wikipedia, this Chad Knaus guy just does not adhere to the rules and is constantly being issued penalties by NASCAR. Not cool dude.

4. Rosie Ruiz

In 1980 Rosie Ruiz “won” the Boston Marathon with the fastest female Boston Marathon time in history. Turns out, she hopped onto the course with a mile left and thus became this list’s Cheater Who Isn’t Even Good at Cheating. An open letter to Rosie: You thought setting records would be the best idea? No one would question that? And when asked why you didn’t seem tired, you said “I got up with a lot of energy this morning.” Uhhh, sure. And then, 20 years later, you still maintain you ran the entire marathon. Even after later being exposed that your qualifying time from the previous year’s New York Marathon was the result of a subway ride. PS: You later went on to be arrested for embezzlement? Just stop. Cheating isn’t your thing.

5. Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, and the rest of Steroid Era Squad

Listen, steroid use exists in every sport. But the United States Congress has only felt the need to get involved with baseball. Steroid use was so rampant and unchecked it took an act of CONGRESS to clean up the game. Of course, the end result is that Mark McGwire should have been on the short list for an Oscar nomination for his Congressional acting testimony and MLB was forced to institute a stricter drug policy.

6.  Irving Blitzer

Irv’s 1972 Gold medals were revoked after it was discovered he put weights in the front of his bobsled to make it run faster. He should have taken his own advice: “A gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you’re not enough without one, you’ll never be enough with one.”

Cool Runnings

7. Tiger Woods

At least he only cheated on his wife and doesn’t cheat at golf? But let’s get real here – cheating on his wife has cheated the sport of golf from seeing the greatest golfer ever break records and be awesome. His nerves of steel were shattered by a golf club. Wielded by his wife. There’s a Shakespeare tragedy waiting to be penned somewhere in there.

8. Ryan Braun

Also wins his own separate entry, due to his excessive and ridiculous defense of his own steroid use. While defending himself (and complaining that he even had to defend himself) he looked straight into a camera without batting an eye and questioned the character of the man that took his drug test, suggesting it was somehow tampered with. That man had a good name and a family and Ryan Braun was too busy covering his own cheating to consider anyone but himself.

9. Tonya Harding

WHHHHYYYYYYYYY.

10. Tim Donaghy

Being a ref is hard. They have millions of fans’ hopes, dreams and dollars riding on their calls, all while not being paid nearly enough for the fun side benefit of having their lawns torched and receiving death threats. Donaghy intentionally blew calls for two years in order to manipulate point spreads during NBA games. And thus giving credence to every fan that screams “IT WAS THE REFS!”

11. Lance Armstrong

Lance and Ryan Braun must be related. Lance denied doping allegations for years which is understandable – when he did admit to doping he reportedly lost $75 million in one day from loss of sponsorship. That kind of money would cause many people to lie. But the lies and his own steroid use aren’t my real problem with him. The viciousness with which he assaulted fellow riders, teammates, people he worked with – he attacked them all with words and lawsuits – all to support his own deceit. He cost other people their jobs and other riders their careers without showing an ounce of remorse. That’s a severe lack of character.

Lance

I have to tell you, Lance almost didn’t make my list. He ended up on it not because he cheated, but who he took down with him while he cheated. I liked Lance. The man inspired millions while raising billions for cancer research. I hate that he cheated and it’s such a shame the biggest loser was LiveStrong.

In addition to Lance squeaking on to my list…there are some that deserve to be on this list… but it still hurts to talk about Marion Jones and Bill Belichick…And since, as mentioned, I own this place… I’ll do what I want.

Who is on your Cheater List? Do you believe in “barely” cheating and that it’s a sliding scale? Or do you prefer living in a black and white world?