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Thursday, July 10, 2008
Updated: July 11, 8:35 PM ET
Hits from the fan bloggers box

ESPN.com

Among the hundreds of blog posts and thousands of comments posted on ESPN.com each week we observe fan analysis ranging in quality from weak popups and double-play balls to line drives hit so hard a metro columnist would duck.

The bloggers below impressed us with their offense and earned a spot in this week's starting lineup.

Hank Steinbrenner's a fraud
By DaQuadfatha

Wake up people! A hideously cruel trick has been played upon us. The hoax of ALL hoaxes has been perpetrated upon the American public, in general, and Yankees fans in particular. The man purporting to be Hank Steinbrenner is a fraud! Oh, he TRIES to be a Steinbrenner with a certain amount of pompous bluster and public criticism of the team, but secretly, I believe George brought home the wrong baby from the hospital. The telltale signs are all there.

Hank Steinbrenner
Icon SMI
Hank has the Steinbrenner face, but where's the itchy trigger finger?

Fact No. 1: Barry Bonds is unemployed. Steroids be damned! We've got to win at all costs. Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon are BOTH on the DL and Bonds isn't in pinstripes yet? Surely, Hank won't sit back and let Boston sign him as David Ortiz's fill-in? If Hank were a REAL Steinbrenner, he'd have signed Bonds in spring training IN ADDITION to Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, then ordered Joe Girardi to make them all happy with playing time but not at the expense of team defense.

Fact No. 2: Johan Santana gets traded to the Mets, THE METS?!, for prospects. No countermove, no one fired. CC Sabathia gets traded to the Brewers for prospects. No countermove, no one fired. How is this possible? Does Milwaukee even HAVE a tabloid to be on the back page of? By God, a true Steinbrenner would find a way to be on that back page if it's there. This is unthinkable! Now the only option is trade the farm system for glass-armed Rich Harden. No, wait, don't tell me.

Fact No. 3: Joe Girardi, a rookie manager, is still running the team in July. Preposterous. No one with full-fledged Steinbrenner DNA permeating his very being could allow this. If Hank were really a Steinbrenner, he'd have fired not only Girardi, but also Stump Merrill, too, sheerly because he was so angry for waiting until July to ax him. Surely, Willie Randolph would have been hired to manage the day after the Mets let him go if Hank were a real Steinbrenner. Maybe they're waiting until Old Timer's Day to announce Willie as the 2009 Yankees manager?

Fact No. 4: Brian Cashman hasn't been replaced by Gene Michael. The season began four months ago, for goodness' sake, and Cashman hasn't produced ONE championship team in all that time. Absolutely intolerable!

No folks, the man in charge of the Yankees CANNOT be a Steinbrenner despite some very well-publicized attempts to convince the media over the last eight months. Hank must have been switched at birth. Somewhere out there is a McDonald's manager who's hired and fired seven assistant managers since April. HE is the ONE, TRUE Hank Steinbrenner and until we find him, Yankees fans will just have to endure this imposter. Review the blog post

Sneaking into the '85 World Series
By wafflehousesteve

I attended two games in St. Louis during the 1985 World Series by recreating the ultraviolet image of the hand stamp given at the in/out gate of Busch Stadium. My friend and I stood by the gate and observed the design of the hand stamp as fans put their hands under the light. We bought UV ink at a local toy store.

By the end of the first inning, we were finished recreating our UV hand stamps, and then attempted entry into Busch Stadium. Success! I watched the rest of the game from behind home plate in the "old" standing room area, which was next to the Budweiser beer stand. We did the same thing the next game. However, they were onto us by Game 5. The cops told us to go home. Read full post

Cleveland Curse strikes again, or goodbye CC
By SNight322

The Indians have traded CC Sabathia for yet another rebuilding effort, just like they did every two years as I was growing up.

In other news, we're all debating IF we have the right supporting cast for LeBron, who's virtually having a professional affair with Gotham in front of our faces.

And of course, we're all waiting for Derek Anderson to blow a game so we can pressure Romeo Crennel into putting in Brady Quinn.

They say if you don't learn from history, you repeat it. If that's the case, then our impatience has turned us into Guy Pearce in the movie "Memento," where he had nothing beyond short-term memory. Yes, we're so hungry for titles around here, the recent streak of success Boston has enjoyed would only alleviate half of it. But that same impatience has turned us into such an intolerant, unforgiving breed that we might actually be driving away the talent we need.

Think about it. CC wins a Cy Young for Pete's sake, then suddenly he has half a bad year, and out the door he goes, to Milwaukee, where he's basically auditioning for a spot on some large-market team where he'll win a ring or two (my guess is that he returns home to the Bay where we'll watch the Giants end their longtime suffering). We did it with Carlos Baerga, Juan Gonzalez, and the true example: Jose Mesa, who has blown only a fraction of the postseason games that Mariano Rivera has. Read full post

AL All-Stars
By MFazio23

I personally think the All-Star Game should reward players' achievements so far that season until the voting closes. This season, someone like a Nate McLouth or Ryan Ludwick deserves a spot on the team over proven players like Ken Griffey Jr. ...

My issues with the All-Star team have mostly come up right away with the American League catcher spot. However, it's a bit different than normal as the fans got the voting right with Joe Mauer. However, Jason Varitek should not have been the second-place vote-getter. This wouldn't bother me as much, except for some inexplicable reason Varitek was put on the All-Star roster as a reserve. I can understand that most of the players wouldn't be clamoring for A.J. Pierzynski to be on the roster, but Varitek over Ivan Rodriguez (who has been way better than I thought)? When you've got a player who is only in the top five in two categories (No. 2 in home runs, No. 5 in doubles) among AL catchers, he's not an All-Star. Read full post

Midseason roundups
By ZZSpence

After an incredible start for the Snakes, the theme in the NL West seems to be more about who can lose the least than who can win the most.

By DaDeucez

[The Royals'] bullpen has been like a Halloween costume party, scary and disfigured, pretty in pink, and terminator.

By KAS09K

Midseason AL awards
MVP: Josh Hamilton - I think without him, this team is as bad as Seattle.
Cy Young: Francisco Rodriguez - 33 saves before the All-Star break is very good. Hard to go against Cliff Lee or Justin Duchscherer, but setting a saves record should win a Cy Young.
ROY: Evan Longoria - Without a shadow of a doubt. He might get some MVP votes.
MOY: Joe Maddon - The Rays! Best record in baseball! Gotta give it to him just for that. Read more midseason blogs

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