Hockey versus baseball

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Hockey versus baseball

By Jon Fucile
WickedGoodSports.com

As hockey season approaches and the Bruins get ready to defend their title, the Red Sox are doing their best to become the highest paid team to not make the playoffs since... well, the last time they did it.

The Red Sox find themselves in a bit of role reversal. The Bruins are the toast of Boston and all the Sox bandwagon fans have raided the pro shop and snapped up every Seguin and Lucic shirt they can find while the Red Sox bandwagon is about as full as a Florida Marlins game.

The Bruins winning and the Red Sox floundering isnt the only difference between the two teams and the two sports.

For example, the Red Sox are in the middle of a playoff race and the Rays are catching up to them. You would think every member of the team would be going all out to break out of their slump and get into the playoffs on a high note. Unfortunately, that isnt the case.

Hockey players, on the other hand, are a different breed. A manlier breed. Take for example the case of Mark Recchi. The setting: Game 7. The situation: KIDNEY STONES! Hockey players are brutalized in the playoffs. They take hit after hit after hit. So Recchi sat that game, right?

WRONG! Hockey 1, Baseball 0

When baseball players have an issue with each other, they usually turn to the pitcher to throw a fast ball at the opponents head at which point the benches clear, people pretend to fight while they stare each other down while failing to look tough and then throw the occasional slap. Sad.

When hockey players feel their teammates are wronged, they go right up to the offender and they certainly dont slap each other.

JUSTICE! Hockey 2, Baseball 0

Take a look at baseball managers. They wear uniforms. UNIFORMS! Why? Theyre not playing. Theyre chewing gum and making crazy hand signals. They just look silly.

Now take a look at a hockey coach. Hes patrolling the bench in a suit and tie looking classy and sophisticated. Is he a coach? Is he James Bond!? Who knows!

007! Hockey 3, Baseball 0

In baseball, if a pitcher goes all nine innings it is considered a great accomplishment. Why? Isnt that their job? Youre a pitcher! Oh boo hoo they pitch every five days! Waaaaaaaaaaaaah. Grow a pair!

Your average NHL goalie starts 50-60 games a year and each night gets hit roughly thirty times with a frozen piece of rubber going upwards of 90mph. Unless their name is Roberto Luongo, a good starting goalie is barely ever pulled. They just keep going and going and loving it the whole time because they are warriors.

WARRIOR! Hockey 4, Baseball 0

We could keep going and going, but we just watched two innings of a baseball game and were really sleepy.

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Hall of Fame

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Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Hall of Fame

NEW YORK - Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Wednesday, earning the honor as Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero fell just short.

Steroids-tainted stars Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were passed over for the fifth straight year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. But they received significantly more votes this time and could be in position to gain election in coming years.

Bagwell, on the ballot for the seventh time after falling 15 votes short last year, received 381 of 442 votes for 86.2 percent. Players needed 75 percent, which came to 332 votes this year.

In his 10th and final year of eligibility, Raines was on 380 ballots (86 percent). Rodriguez received 336 votes (76 percent) to join Johnny Bench in 1989 as the only catchers elected on the first ballot.

Hoffman was five votes shy and Guerrero 15 short.

Edgar Martinez was next at 58.6 percent, followed by Clemens at 54.1 percent, Bonds at 53.8 percent, Mike Mussina at 51.8 percent, Curt Schilling at 45 percent, Lee Smith at 34.2 percent and Manny Ramirez at 23.8 percent.

Players will be inducted July 30 during ceremonies at Cooperstown along with former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta Braves executive John Schuerholz, both elected last month by a veterans committee.

Bagwell was a four-time All-Star who spent his entire career with Houston, finishing with a .297 batting average, 401 homers and 1,401 RBIs.

Raines, fifth in career stolen bases, was a seven-time All-Star and the 1986 NL batting champion. He spent 13 of 23 big league seasons with the Montreal Expos, who left Canada to become the Washington Nationals for the 2005 season, and joins Andre Dawson and Gary Carter as the only players to enter the Hall representing the Expos.

Raines hit .294 with a .385 on-base percentage, playing during a time when Rickey Henderson was the sport's dominant speedster.

Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star who hit .296 with 311 homers and 1,332 RBIs, was never disciplined for PEDs but former Texas teammate Jose Canseco alleged in a 2005 book that he injected the catcher with steroids. Asked whether he was on the list of players who allegedly tested positive for steroids during baseball's 2003 survey, Rodriguez said in 2009: "Only God knows."

Bonds, a seven-time MVP who holds the season and career home run records, received 36.2 percent in his initial appearance, in 2013, and jumped from 44.3 percent last year. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, rose from 45.2 percent last year.

Bonds was indicted on charges he lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he denied using PEDs, but a jury failed to reach a verdict on three counts he made false statements and convicted him on one obstruction of justice count, finding he gave an evasive answer. The conviction was overturned appeal in 2015.

Clemens was acquitted on one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements to Congress and two counts of perjury, all stemming from his denials of drug use.

A 12-time All-Star on the ballot for the first time, Ramirez was twice suspended for violating baseball's drug agreement. He helped the Boston Red Sox win World Series titles in 2004 and `07, the first for the franchise since 1918, and hit .312 with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs in 19 big league seasons.

Several notable players will join them in the competition for votes in upcoming years: Chipper Jones in 2018, Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay in 2019, and Derek Jeter in 2020.

Belichick asked if playing at home helps: 'Go ask Dallas and Kansas City'

Belichick asked if playing at home helps: 'Go ask Dallas and Kansas City'

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick knows that how you play, not where, is what matters most. 

That's why when he was asked on Wednesday about the advantage the Patriots will have by playing at Gillette Stadium in the AFC title game, he wasn't willing to go all-in on how a comfortable environment will positively impact his team.

"I don’t know," he said. "Go ask Dallas and Kansas City."

The Patriots apparently thought enough of home-field advantage that they played their starters throughout their regular-season finale win in Miami, exposing their best players to potential injury in order to maintain their positive momentum while simultaneously ensuring a better road to the Super Bowl. 

The Patriots fans in attendance on Sunday will help when the Patriots take on the Steelers, Belichick acknowledged. But there's much more to it than that. 

"Yeah, of course," he said, "but the game is won by the players on the field. That’s who wins football games – the players. And they’ll decide it Sunday night."

And if you needed any further proof, just ask the Cowboys and Chiefs how helpful their home crowds were in the Divisional Round.