Land-o-Links – 6/23/2006

It's been an amazing week all around.  Here are some links for the weekend:

1) Ozzie Apologizes to Every Homosexual (Jay the Joke) – Ozzie Guillen correctly apologizes for using the f-bomb and then proceeds with a 4-minute long diatribe on how Jay Mariotti is still a "piece of shit."  This is absolutely well worth listening to in its entirety.

2) Guillen, Duncan Feud Over Plunking (Chicago Tribune) – During any other week with any other manager, an order to bean the son of the pitching coach of the opposing team would be the topic #1 around here.

3) A League of Their Own (Boston Globe) – Indy Transplant and I went to the White Sox-Cardinals game last night (Sox won 1-0 with their only hit being a Jim Thome homer, which was simply magnificent) and had a discussion on how much better the American League has been compared to the National League.  Sure enough, the Red Sox came out today with simulated stats showing that the record of an American League team playing a National League schedule would improve by 10 games over the entire regular season.

What's interesting to me is that the reputations of leagues and conferences in all of the major sports have completely switched around from when I was growing up.  The National League seemed to have all of the best players in the game back in the 1980s but it now seems to be the place where, as Bill Simmons claims, old pitchers from the AL such as Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens go to spend their twilight years since the competition is so much easier.  Meanwhile, the days where the NBA Championship was really won during the grudge matches between the Bulls, Pistons, Knicks, Cavs, and Pacers in the Eastern Conference are now gone with the Western Conference now boasting teams which don't make the playoffs that could probably be top seeds if they were in the East (notwithstanding Miami's victory this past week).  Finally, in the NFL, I grew up wondering if I would ever see the AFC win a Super Bowl (the NFC was victorious in 13 straight Super Bowls, a streak that was broken by the Broncos beating the Packers in glorious fashion in Super Bowl XXXII), which seems laughable now.  To this day, I have a knee-jerk negative reaction whenever I hear someone say how bad the NFC is, but I then pull back and have to remind myself how that person is right.

4) Knicks End Year of Disharmony (New York Times) – If he hasn't already, Greg Oden needs to hire a real estate agent in Chicago pronto.  I love you, Isiah.

And finally… 

5) Limited Action Figures of B.I.G., Public Enemy Coming This Fall ( – I can fulfill my dreams of Biggie Smalls putting the smack down on C-3PO.

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