Welcome to the inaugural edition of Middle Relief, our midweek look at news and nonsense from around the majors.
When Scott Podsednik jogged to center field in the eighth inning of Tuesday night's game against the Orioles, he thrust the Red Sox into rarefied air. No, he didn't win the game for Boston — Baltimore walked away 4-1 victors. No, he didn't change Boston's place in the standings — the Sox remain cellar dwellers and below .500, the longest they've gone without topping .500 in 15 16 years. In making his first appearance in a Red Sox uniform, Podsednik became the 12th player to man their outfield this year.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Tuesday.
John Elway and the Denver Broncos officially introduced Peyton Manning in a press conference after signing the free agent to a deal that could be worth as much as $96 million over five years. "I'm happy to join the Mile High club under a legend like John Elway," said Manning, in a really unfortunate opening statement followed by an even more unfortunate joke: "Even if it does get a little hard to breathe!"
For some time now, Lance Berkman has been in the category of athletes who genuinely believe they were as good as one of their more buzzed-about teammates. This fraternity of chip-on-shoulder athletes include:
Ron Harper, about Michael Jordan (false)
Morris Peterson, about LeBron James (delusional)
Terrell Owens, about Jerry Rice (not at anything)
Tom Brady, about Drew Bledsoe (absolutely)
Paul Kariya, about Teemu Selanne (DEBATABLE)
Lance is a two-time member of this club, first as an Astro with Jeff Bagwell and currently as a Cardinal with Albert Pujols. Comparing Bagwell and Pujols' numbers with Berkman, it seems insane for him to think he's as good, if not better. What's interesting, though, is that guys in this fraternity don't care about stats and accolades. They just know, deep down inside, they are better than anyone else in their respective sport, and there's nothing you can say to them to convince them feel otherwise. It may sound crazy, but it's also a fantastic way to approach your craft.
On Thursday night, Lance finally got the chance to show the world what he's known all along: Lance Berkman is the greatest baseball player of all time.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday.
Delmon Young hit two home runs and Justin Verlander lasted into the eighth as the Tigers avoided elimination with a 7-5 win over the Rangers in the ALCS. Texas will now have two chances to advance to the World Series at home, and won't have to contend with Verlander. Unfortunately, they will have to contend with Nolan Ryan's "fable hour," where the Rangers owner forces the team to gather around and listen while he tells tall tales about his days in the majors. Tomorrow's installment is about the time Ryan built a stadium by himself in a single day when the old one was wrecked by a storm, and opened it up by throwing a no-hitter that very night.
In case you were out living a young person's life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Tuesday.
This morning we're counting down the ten most significant moments of Tuesday night. They could be great, they could be awful, or they could be "other," but the ranking is entirely dependent on their importance. Kind of like how Time magazine's Person of the Year can be Gandhi, Hitler, or Mark Zuckerberg.