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Hump Day Hot Takes: 9.19.18

Hot. Fresh. Hump. Takes. Get them while they’re hot.

Hump Day Hot Takes: 9.19.18


Estimated Reading Time: 7 Minutes

Christian Yelich Now Owns The Cincinnati Reds

Or at least, that should be the case after hitting for the cycle against them for the second time this season. Yelich’s cycle on September 17th makes him only the 5th person to ever hit for the cycle twice in the same season and the 1st to ever do it against the same team.

With this, he should be not only be granted ownership rights to the team from Cincinnati, but he also should secure himself as the frontrunner for the year’s NL MVP. As of this writing he’s tied for first in BA, 1st in OPS, slugging% and in oWAR, 3nd in runs, and top 10 in RBI, HR, OBP and hits. He’s doing all of this while the Brewer’s are competing for the NL Central title, AND he’s has not 1, but 2 cycles now. And as I’ve long said, cycles are the most exciting thing in baseball. Yelich should win the NL MVP, and has his team in good place for the PostSeason. If you know a Marlins fan, give them a hug.

It’s The Opposite of Sunny in Pittsburgh

Okay, that’s a terrible pun for a header, but seriously, there is some DRAMA in Pittsburgh. Apart from Le’Veon Bell rightfully being absent from the team, there is now issue with Antonio Brown. During the Steeler’s 42-37 loss to the Chiefs, AB caught 9 of 17 targets for 67 yards. Honestly, not a bad stat line unless you’re a guy of Brown’s talent. He was clearly upset with his production, and was seen yelling at his Offensive Coordinator and WR Coach on the sidelines during the 4th quarter. 

And then after the game, a former Steeler’s PR guy tweeted that all fo AB’s success was due to Big Ben Rothlesberger. Here’s what AB had to say:

Now, clearly AB is not actually asking for a trade here but this was followed up by Brown not showing up to Monday’s practice/film session in Pittsburgh. AB has never been known to be an unprofessional WR, except for the fact that he kinda is. Remember last year, it was Brown who was streaming Mike Tomlin on Facebook Live as he was literally telling his players to cool it with the social media. AB has never been called a diva like OBJ, but this latest stunt makes the controversial Giants pass catcher look damn business like comparably.

Things are bleak right now in Pittsburgh. A team that many people thought would make the Super Bowl is 0-1-1, and just became only the second team since 1940 to score 37 points, not turn the ball over, and lose and they’re the first to do that at home. Le’Veon isn’t showing up anytime soon, and their other star offensive weapon might be imploding. 

Anybody Need A Kicker?

This past Sunday was not good if you were an NFL kicker. Amongst all the teams that played on Sunday there were 19 kicks that didn’t end up between the sticks. 12 field goals and an astounding 7 extra point attempts, 2 of which came from the same kicker (more on him in a second). More than a few of those kicks cost teams victories, especially in the Minnesota – Green Bay contest that ended in a tie. Mason Crosby did technically hit his game winning field goal, but a successful time-out freeze situation by the Vikings led to him missing the re-kick. 

The Vikings kicker, Daniel Carlson, missed three kicks in that same game, two of which would have given the Vikings the win. On Monday, he found himself without a job. When asked about it at his press conference, head coach Mike Zimmer had this to say:

Mike Zimmer is straight savage.

The other kicker to get fired was Cleveland’s Zane Gonzalez, who missed two field goals AND two extra points including one that would’ve put the Browns ahead by 1 with less than a minute. To be honest, the Browns would be 2-0 if not for Gonzalez and instead are 0-1-1. So it makes sense he was removed from his job. However, in the most Cleveland twist ever, it has come out today that Gonzalez had been kicking with a groin injury. Think about that. A guy who does nothing but swing his leg very hard has a groin injury. Not only that, but his head coach had no idea. Classic Cleveland.

Josh Gordon to the Patriots

Sticking with news involving the Cleveland Browns (what is this?), on Monday they made it known they would be releasing troubled but talented WR Josh Gordon. Shortly after that they pulled that back and said he was available for trade. Enter New England. Here’s more.

Now, contrary to popular belief, we are not all pro-New England teams here at the Turf. And I am highly doubtful of this being a good match. Josh Gordon is an addict. That’s the best way to respectfully put it. He is a phenomenal talent on the field, but off it he suffers from the disease of addiction. He has been trying to get help for as of late, but he needs all the help he can get to remain professional and on the wagon.

New England is not known for being a warm and open environment for their athletes. Bringing in Randy Moss, whom people just didn’t like, is not the same as bringing in a troubled young athlete. The Hoodie has multiple “No Tolerance” policies, and didn’t play his star defensive back in the Super Bowl because he was late for team meetings.

And then there’s Brady, who isn’t exactly a helping hand either. When asked about it by WEEI on Monday, here is what Brady had to say.

“I am not making — I hate to make projections and expectations, that’s not fair, and I have never met Josh personally, just like I hadn’t met some of the guys who have come in the last couple of weeks. We’ll see how it goes this week. Hopefully he can work hard, put the team first and end up helping us in any role he can find for himself on the team.”

This is the same man who was seen yelling at wide outs to “DO YOUR JOB” on the sidelines of Sunday’s loss to the Jags. 

This does not make an environment that’s exactly well suited for a struggling addict to prosper in. I hope for Gordon’s sake he can keep his composure and prosper for the rest of the season. He is truly a great player and I want him to succeed. 

Vontae Davis Retires at HalfTime

That’s not a joke saying he gave up during the game. Bills CB Vontae Davis literally retired without word to his teammates at halftime of Buffalo’s blowout loss to the Chargers. Sunday was Davis’s first real game action in over a year after dealing with injuries and being cut by Indy. On the first drive of the game he got torched by Mike Williams for the games first TD. He was basically benched after that.

But instead of standing with his teammates on the sidelines for the rest of the game he went back to the locker room, got changed, and left. He literally retired at halftime. Just quit on his team.

Now, I’m all for someone hanging it up when they don’t have it anymore. And I think it’s respectable when someone will say their done instead of just being there to collect a check. But you don’t leave your teammates at halftime. There’s absolutely no way Davis hasn’t been considering this for a while. And he got through OTA’s and camp, widely regraded as the hardest part of the season. To leave mid-game without as much as a bye is disgraceful and cowardly.

The easy joke to make here is you would want to retire at halftime too if you played for Buffalo, but that’s just low hanging fruit. For his part Davis released this statement on instagram.

That should have been told to his coaches and teammates first. Not social media. There’s no way Vontae Davis will ever be remembered as anything other than “that guy who retired at halftime.” Which is a shame. But he brought it on himself.

The Worst Take. Maybe Ever.

I don’t mean one of mine. I mean this one, from Giri Nathan of Deadspin.

In it, Nathan argues that Serena was out of line to immediately point to sexism following the incident at the US Open. He uses the example of Novak Djokovic not pointing to anti-Serb bias when the same chair umpire penalized him last year. Except that’s a stupid thing to say.

Not only have many male players, such as John McEnroe for fuck’s sake, come forward to say that in their career’s they have behaved far worse than Serena did and received far less punishment, but in the instance with Djokovic that everyone likes to reference, Novak was given a warning. Not an official warning but a “hey, calm down or I’m going to have to take a point away.” 

The follow up argument people have been making is that she was given that same warning for the first violation, of coaching. Except, to call that vioatition is asinine in the first place, and is something I have never seen before, I’ve been playing watching tennis for 26 years.

The WTA came out in support of Serena. USTA too. And then an anonymous ump says they might boycott Serena’s matches, because he’s too chickenshit to put his name on it, and Deadspin runs an article that supports this ump. The world is upside down. 

Let’s End On A Positive Note

Look at this amazing picture of Ryan “FitzMagic” Fitzpatrick from Sunday’s post game press conference. It’s amazing.

Andrew Mark Wilhelm is a professional Sound Engineer/Designer, and amateur photographer, writer, musician currently working in Santa Maria on California's Central Coast. Born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit has made Andrew an avid fan of all things Detroit but nothing more so than his beloved Detroit Tigers. Every year he tells himself he won't drink the Lions Kool-Aid, and every year winds up heartbroken come January. A Spartan by heart, and a Golden Grizzly by degree, you can catch his (almost) weekly Hot Takes every Hump Day here at The Turf.

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