A Torre and a Whig?

The “Tories” are the Toast of the Town, but King James is just Toast:  Joe knows, Hunter crows, Tori glows, but LeBron blows

“Amazing Tories”

A long time ago, the California Angels had a great Color Commentator named Joe Torre.  Joe was a former ballplayer who knew the game inside and out, and wasn’t afraid to speak his mind.  He had a kind personality, that was not lost behind the immense Baseball knowledge. 

Angel fans were sad to see him go, when he left the broadcast booth.  Joe became the Manager of the New York Yankees, who dominated the American League during his tenure, winning 4 World Championships.  Angel fans continued to like Torre, though, because the Angels were the ONLY team in the League to have a winning record against Torre’s Bronx Bombers.

Now Joe is the successful Manager of the Dodgers, who almost reached the World Series last year, for the first time in decades.  And this year, even without the suspended Manny Ramirez, they still sport the best record in Baseball.  Torre has a way of focusing players on the task at hand, and keeping them on an even keel through a long season.

And Torre has not lost his penchant for telling it like it is.  Earlier this week, Torre’s boss Frank McCourt announced that he wants his star player Ramirez to play in the All-Star game this year, despite Manny’s drug suspension.  Soon after the Dodger Owner made that announcement, Torre made his own, completely contradicting the Boss’ opinion.

Torre says that Manny should NOT be voted in by fans as an All-Star Starter, should not be added by the Manager, and should not accept an invitation even he DOES get one.  Manny has been quiet since his humiliating ordeal with Female Fertility/Steroid-Chaser Drugs, but Torre spoke FOR him:  Joe says that Manny will disagree with McCourt, and instead agree with Torre.  In other words, Torre says that Manny will NOT play in the All-Star game, period.  Good.

Because, as usual, McCourt has it wrong, and Torre has it right.  The Baseball All-Star game is SUPPOSED to recognize the players who played the best during the first half of this season.  The fans are allowed to vote, but they are SUPPOSED to look at the stats, and NOT treat it as simply a popularity contest.  But whenever you leave the masses in charge, things go wrong.  First of all, certain cities have been known to ballot-stuff, by over-distributing ballots.  Secondly, fans naturally vote for their home-team favorites without any deference to the stats or to who DESERVES to make the team.

The fans should lose their right to vote in players by themselves.  The popular vote should account for just a small percentage of the tally, with players, coaches, or maybe even the Press voting to make up the controlling bloc.

Manny WILL be back from suspension by the time the All-Star game rolls around in July, but his first half numbers won’t even be on the chart.  It is not fair to deprive someone who has torn up the league for 80 games of a spot, just to honor Manny for feats he performed in previous seasons.  Is he, in general, an “All-Star?”  Of course, and sometimes you can make an exception for a perennial All-Star participant whose numbers are a little low one year due to an injury or weak support from his teammates.  But when the drop in productivity is due to a Steroid Scandal and Suspension?  No, no, no.  It’s not that Frank McCourt has no place in his World for integrity, but since he stands to profit heartily by seeing his star and his logo out there in the game broadcast in 132 Countries around the globe, he HAS to implore people to vote for him, and for him to accept the offer.

It’s up to YOU to put your foot down, and NOT glorify the latest busted juicer.  He’s just another Mark McGwire now.  Although unlike that ex-trojan, Manny probably would have been a pretty damn good ballplayer even without the Roids…

…like one of his counterparts across town.  Down in Anaheim, the Angels’ Torii Hunter is quietly carrying the Angels in their bid to continue owning the AL West.  Although they trail Texas by about 6 games right now, and Torii check-swinged into a game-killing double-play last night, the Angels are still in great position to reach the Postseason again.  They JUST got back Vlad Guerrero, John Lackey, and Ervin Santana from injuries, with Kelvim Escobar coming soon.  Texas does not have a history of “sticking,” so L.A. is likely to overtake them later this summer.  Especially, if Hunter continues his assault on the American League.

Not only has Torii handled 131 consecutive plays in Center Field without an error, he also leads the League in spectacular, highlight-reel catches.  Torii has 11 Home Runs, which is 5th best for an A.L. Outfielder, with 40 RBI, which is SECOND best, and he is hitting .310, which is 4th.  And he’s doing all that without Vlad Guerrero in the line-up to protect him.  In fact, there is NO ONE to protect him with any power.  Bobby Abreu is hitting well, but has only 1 Homer all year.  So it’s been Hunter as the clear — and VOCAL — MVP, especially since the Press starting taunting him with reports of his “losing a step” and not being Golden Glove-caliber any more.  So forget about “Manny being Manny” earning a vote in the N. L. — But why not consider casting a vote for Torii Hunter when you get to the A.L.?  It takes a really “fertile” mind to agree with this train of thought.

And speaking of fertile minds…

Tori Spelling has always gotten a bad rap, from fishwraps and tabloids Worldwide.  And sometimes, from her own back yard.  Tori has had an ongoing “back and forth” with her Mother, Candy through the Media for many years now, but this week, Candy hit a new low.

IN THE MEDIA, Candy flat out accuses Tori of KILLING Tori’s father Aaron Spelling, by ignoring him in his late life. 

Okay, first of all, WHO accuses their kids like that, of something so serious, through the Press?  Even if the claims are true, what kind of monster would want to hurt their own child that severely?  One that has a new BOOK coming out?  One that is so sickly desperate — not for money, but JUST to sell more books than her daughter just did?

Tori does not deserve this kind of abuse.  Tori loved — and loves —  Aaron with all her heart, so these claims could potentially be devastating.  HOWEVER — My guess is that the claim is a completely bogus fabrication, made solely to sell more books.  The BEST part of that is that Tori is SMART, and probably KNEW immediately that her Mother does not believe a word of what she is telling the Press in her barely-veiled attempts to stir up publicity. 

Of course all of this is purely speculation, but I will add that I don’t think Tori was “in” on this poorly-conceived TMZ-style marketing stunt.  Tori is actually better than that.

Without any cheap gimmicks, Tori’s new book “Mommywood” ENTERED the New York Times’ Bestseller List at a lofty #4.  And based on the never-ending line of devoted fans at Tori’s book signing at UCLA last month, her popularity is growing and growing.  Fan after fan thanked her for helping them understand the Mother-Daughter relationships which they themselves have also been struggling with.  The respect and admiration that Tori received was heartwarming.  It’s nice to know that the support is coming from people who look up to her as a role model, Mother, and Wife, and not just from people who were obsessed with Donna Martin on “Beverly Hills, 90210,” or from people just infatuated with her very rich and privileged “celebrity” status.

The sad part is that Candy’s latest rumblings will hurt all the good will and positive advice that Tori has helped millions of girls and women with over the last few years.  Candy may be causing more emotional strife than she knows.

I don’t know Candy personally, and I admit that it is POSSIBLE that her version of events is accurate, but I DO know Tori (for 10 years), and I believe with every fiber in my body that if she knew Aaron wanted and needed her, she would have been there for him.  Perhaps Candy put certain “conditions” on Tori’s communicating with him that were ridiculously unreasonable?  Who knows?  Like I said, the whole story could be bull.  All I know is that I trust Tori, and I will always be on her side.

And when it comes to Rivalries that get overblown in the Media… Kobe will NOT get to school Lebron James in this year’s NBA Finals.  That’s because LeBron had an off night when Cleveland needed him most.  In arguably the most important game in Cleveland Cavalier History, the NBA 2009 MVP went 8-for-20 from the floor, 2-for-8 from 3-point land, and committed 3 Turnovers.  James managed to pull down a total of ONE Offensive Rebound in 45 minutes of play, despite his teammates missing 32 shots.

While LeBron struggled, Orlando’s Dwight Howard dominated the game, with 40 points and 14 Rebounds.  The Magic made LeBron and the Cavs disappear with their 103-90, Game 6 win, taking the Series 4-2, and setting up a Finals match-up with the Lakers.

So much for the NBA conspiring with Refs to get their Dream Match-up in the Finals.  The whole World outside of Florida and Colorado wanted — and fully expected — a Kobe vs. LeBron Finals Showdown.  But the whole World will have to wait another year, for LeBron to attain Kobe’s level of ability to raise his whole team’s performance, when it really, truly matters.

The Cleveland-Orlando Series showcased LeBron’s incredible talents, as no one ever before has averaged 40 points, 8 Assists, and 8 Rebounds in a Playoff Series, not even Wilt Chamberlain.  This article is not meant to imply that LeBron sucks.  It’s just that until James has a ring or three, people should stop saying that Kobe has already passed off the “Best Player in the World” baton.

And Kobe will have his work cut out for him in the Finals.  Orlando beat the Lakers in BOTH of their head-to-head meetings this season, and the Lakers don’t really have an answer for a guy as big and strong AND TALENTED as Howard.  If they try to collapse on him, Orlando has about 4 different guys who will slay the Lakers from behind the arc.  Luckily, the Lakers have Homecourt advantage in the 2-3-2 Finals format, so if the Series goes long, as expected, the Magic will have to win a Game 6 or a Game 7 here AT Staples.  Bruin great Reggie Miller and Kenny Smith both predict the Lakers in 6, while Charles Barkley says ORLANDO IN SEVEN.  Based on Barkley’s infamous gambling losses, his prediction bodes extremely well for L. A.  Let’s just hope he doesn’t get upset after being wrong, and get behind the wheel while intoxicated in downtown Los Angeles. 

I’ll bank on Trevor Ariza continuing to outperform expectations, and on Jordan Farmar having a resurgence, to take the Lakers to Glory.  However, I see a split of the first two games, and the Magic taking 2 of 3 in Orlando, so, to win it all, the Lakers will have to sweep games 6 and 7 when they return to Staples.  And one of the fun parts of THAT roller coaster ride will be all the johnny-come-lately, bandwagon-jumping, die-soft Laker fans going all Chicken “Kobe Sucks” Little after the Game 5 loss that drops the Lakers down 2-to-3 in the Series.  But now YOU know not to panic if that happens — Kobe will still be able to lift the Lakers to vicTORY.      


2 responses to “TORRE, TORII, TORI, (HIS-)TORY”

  1. SVCA to SCMO Avatar
    SVCA to SCMO

    1. Orlando/L.A. Lakers is a 50/50 series! For a playoff team, the Lakers are slow to react to three-point shooters, and do not have a tough interior defense. Nonetheless, I expect Orlando to shoot themselves out of two games. LA in 7.

    2. Manny is WORSE than McGuire!!! I understand McGuire likely started juicing in the mid-90s in Oakland when his career was in jeopardy due to injuries, and may very well have ended without steroids. It’s like a poor person stealing – it’s unquestionably wrong, but at the time, what did he have to lose (besides his dignity, of course)? Further, at that time, juicing had not yet been stigmatized. Of course, he continued to juice (allegedly, ha! ha!) for years, and, deservedly, McGuire now has little credibility even here in St. Louis.

    Manny did not have to juice to save his career, and was obviously doing so recently in the face of several ongoing steroid scandals. That makes him the ultimate idiot, and worse than even Mark McGuire. Unfortunately, I suspect Manny would have had to have hit 75 home runs last year, or 800 in his career, for most people to agree with me.

  2. Jake Avatar

    Is Candy Tori’s bio-mom?

    This is the first time I’ve heard of this Spelling affair, so I have no idea.

    [T-H’s Note: AFAIK, yes. According to a People article, they married 3 years before Tori was born.]