Who Wore it Best? 79-70

Photo: Dr. Odd

We continue our fashion countdown of who wore each number best. In this edition, we’re hopping into the 70’s. Will we get more NFL lineman? Will some random hockey or basketball players sneak in? Let’s dive in and find out.

79 – José Abreu

José Abreu has to be up there in the greatest players with the weirdest numbers category. According to Abreu, his mother picked his number so he would stand out. Stand out he has; Abreu was last year’s MVP, has garnered three All-Star selections, and even hit for the cycle in 2017.

Honorable Mention: N/A

78 – Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith is the all-time leader in sacks with an outlandish 200. His resume is long and silly; we won’t waste too much time here, but just know he was named to two different All-Decade teams in the 80’s and 90’s.

Honorable Mention: N/A

77 – Ray Bourque

Bouruqe was one of the best defensemen in NHL history. His offensive numbers are pretty impressive for a defensemen, scoring 1,506 points in 1,518 games played.

Honorable Mention: Vladimir Radmanović

76 – Orlando Pace

Photo: USA Today

Pace was about all you could ask for in a left tackle during his career. In college, he was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in 1996, which is wild enough for a lineman. In the NFL, he earned seven trips to the Pro Bowl, was a three time first team All-Pro, and a member of the 2000’s All-Decade team.

Honorable Mention: PK Subban

75 – Joe Greene

“Mean” Joe Greene was one of the most dominant nose tackles in NFL history. He was a part of the “Steel Curtain” defense that won four Super Bowls in six years for the Steelers in the 70’s. Mean Joe was also named to the 1970’s All-Decade team on top of the 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time teams.

Honorable Mentions: Barry Zito, Howie Long

74 – Kenley Jansen

Jansen has been absolutely lights out since entering the Majors in 2010. He’s recorded 312 saves, a 2.39 ERA, and a 0.91 WHIP in 636 innings in his career.

Honorable Mention: TJ Oshie

73 – John Hannah

Hannah was a dominant guard for the Patriots from 1973-1985. Over that time, he went to nine Pro Bowls, was a 10 time All-Pro, is a member of the 70’s and 80’s All-Decade teams as well as the 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time teams.

Honorable Mention: N/A

72 – Sergei Bobrovsky

Bobrovsky has had an impressive run since coming into the NHL with the Flyers in 2010. Since then, he has an impressive .921 save percentage and a 2.41 goals against average.

Honorable Mentions: Carlton Fisk, Dan Dierdorf

71 – Walter Jones

We’ve gushed over Walter Jones before, and we’re here to gush again. A bonafide Hall of Fame left tackle, nine Pro Bowls, four first team All-Pros, and never missed a start in 180 career games.

Honorable Mention: Evgeni Malkin

70 – Dennis Rodman

Photo: ESPN

Who remembers this weird shit? Rodman played 12 games for the Mavs in the 1999-2000 season. Honestly, this is an awful number for this list and we’re obviously stretching here.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Have to be honest, I thought this edition was going to rely heavy on NFL offensive/defensive lineman. Pleasantly surprised with the baseball, hockey, and basketball representation here. On to the 60’s!

Dear Baseball: Welcome Back, We Love You

Dear Baseball,

You made it. You’re back. Every year, Spring rolls around and you reappear in our lives just when we’re all at our wit’s end with Winter.

Your debut is upon us, and league-wide hope is at a premium. Spring Training has wrapped, and all thirty teams have traveled back home to start the long, arduous road to a pennant. The weather is starting to turn; summer is creeping around the corner, and with it, thoughts of cold beer and hot dogs dance in our heads.

Opening Day is a time and feeling unlike any other. It’s like waking up in the middle of the night thinking your alarm’s about to go off, to find you’ve only been asleep for an hour. It’s like taking out your contacts after a long day, or hitting every green light when you’re running late. It’s hard to exactly describe it, but have you ever found a $20 bill in your pants that you forgot about? That’s what it feels like having you back.

From Wrigley to Fenway, Yankee Stadium to Petco Park, let the hum of fastballs and pop of catcher’s mitts fill the air for the next seven months. Let the home runs fly out of Coors Field, pop ups die in the acres of foul territory at RingCentral Coliseum, and Bernie Brewer take all of the home run slides his heart desires.

Who cares if the pace of play is a little slow? Who doesn’t want to to piss in a urinal trough, pay $12 for a mini helmet full of ice cream that melts in five minutes, or step in dropped neon yellow nacho cheese while awkwardly scootching past eight of your fellow attendees all while squeezing into undersized seats in 98 degree weather?

We definitely don’t get embarrassed when our favorite players get injured in hilarious ways while playing a noncontact sport. We don’t care that you make a bunch of old men squeeze into baseball uniforms, or that your Hall of Fame voting is incredibly flawed, or that your fields of play aren’t equal in size like every other legitimate professional sport. No reason to complain about the fact that the DH rule isn’t universal, unwritten rules are dumb, and that hitting at this point is either home runs or strikeouts.

Baseball, we could not be happier that you are back.

Love,

Baseball Fans Everywhere

Who Wore it Best? 99-90

Photo: Dr. Odd

We’re kicking off a new series; and we’re going by the numbers. This countdown is dedicated to the best players of all-time by each jersey number. No concrete formula here, just career stats, impact on the game, and some good old fashion opinion. Let’s hop right in.

99 – Wayne Gretzky

Photo: LA Biz

He’s called “The Great One” for a reason. Hard to pick a favorite stat to demonstrate Gretzky’s dominance, but one of my favorites is that if he never scored a goal, he still would have had 11 straight 100-point seasons and won four scoring titles.

Honorable Mentions: Manny Ramirez, George Mikan, Warren Sapp

98 – Casey Hampton

Not a widely popular number, so not our largest name on the list. Appropriately nicknamed “Big Snacks,” Hampton made five Pro Bowls as the Steelers nose tackle in the early aughts.

Honorable Mentions: Jason Collins

97 – Jeremy Roenick

Maybe not the best guy, but a pretty good hockey player. The eighth overall pick in the 1988 NHL draft scored 1,216 points in 1,363 games played.

Honorable Mentions: Bryant Young, Cam Heyward

96 – Cortez Kennedy

Kennedy recorded 58 sacks in his 11 seasons for the Seahawks. He recorded 569 tackles and 11 forced fumbles.

Honorable Mentions: Metta World Peace, Tomas Holmstrom

95 – Richard Dent

A bonafide Hall of Famer who was a part of one of the greatest defenses of all time, the ’85 Bears. What more can you ask for?

Honorable Mentions: N/A

94 – Charles Haley

The defensive centerpiece of two all-time franchises in the Cowboys and 49ers.

Honorable Mention: Demarcus Ware

93 – John Randle

Anyone who goes undrafted in their respective sport and go on to become a Hall of Famer is good enough for this list. Randle made seven Pro Bowls and was a six time first team All-Pro selection en route to Canton.

Honorable Mentions: Pat Neshak, Metta World Peace

92 – Reggie White

Photo: Quotes Gram

“The Minister of Defense” was one of the greatest free agent signings of all time, when he left the Philadelphia Eagles in 1992 and signed with the Green Bay Packers. He finished his career with 198 sacks, two NFL defensive player of the year awards, and a Super Bowl ring.

Honorable Mentions: DeShawn Stevenson, Gabriel Landeskog

91 – Dennis Rodman

An obvious answer for a surprisingly strong number. But Rodman’s five rings, seven NBA All-Defensive first selections, and nearly 12,000 career rebounds puts him on our list.

Honorable Mentions: Kevin Greene, Sergei Fedorov

90 – Ndamukong Suh

Suh has had a late-career number change to 93, but he donned 90 early in his career for the Lions when he was arguable at his best. During his time rocking the big 9-0, Suh was the NFL Rookie of the Year, made four Pro Bowls, and was a three time NFL First Team All-Pro.

Honorable Mention: Ryan O’Reilly

High numbers, a lot of hockey players and defensive lineman, to be expected. Will we have some different sports and positions represented in our next set of jersey numbers, 89-80? Only time will tell.

The White Sox Hired Tony La Russa and…Yikes.

Woof.

The Chicago White Sox are one of the most young, exciting teams in baseball. They have a treasure trove of young talent not only on the major league roster, but still coming up through their farm system. The South Siders made the playoffs this year for the first time since 2008, but were eliminated in the first round by the Athletics.

Due to “differences of opinion” regarding analytics and strategy in general, the team relieved manager Rick Rentería of his duties after the season. In doing so, the Sox created for themselves a great opportunity to sign a dynamic, exciting manager to take this young group with an enormous skillset and lead them to a championship, right?

WRONG.

Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for your new manager of The Chicago White Sox….

This guy.

Tony La Russa: seventy-six year old, hasn’t managed since 2011, Tony La Russa.

As you’ll notice in the picture above, the man is a Hall of Famer, a fact you can’t deny. However, isn’t that a reason not to hire him? His last managing gig with the Cardinals ended when he retired nine years ago. Per Baseball Reference, La Russa holds a career record of 2,728-2,365 in 35 years of managing the White Sox (for the first time), Athletics, and Cardinals. He last managed the White Sox in 1986. One of the White Sox’s best players, Luis Robert, was born 11 years after, in 1997.

The White Sox roster is full of young, lively talent. Tony La Russa is a baseball dinosaur who has been in the sport since 1963, when he made his playing debut with Oakland. This enormous age gap can cause major issues. How does a man capture the attention and respect of a group of studs 50 years his minor? I just don’t see it.

Now, with as loaded of a roster as the White Sox have put together, this could very well work out. At some point, the manager of a baseball team simply cannot lose if he’s given the right combination and talent and potential. If you’re a White Sox fan, you can only hope your new geriatric leader lets his guys be themselves and take the next step that they clearly have enough talent to take.