In THE SPORTS LANDSCAPE Bill Sullivan on February 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Wake Up and Smell the Horsehide: Miguel Cabrerra’s problems with alcohol continue. On Feb. 16, the Detroit Tigers’ slugger was arrested and charged with DUI in Florida. Disturbing was what he said to the arresting officer: “Do you know who I am?” before taking a swig of whiskey right in front of him! Annoying was the comment of teammate Carlos Guillen who said, “It’s tough for him, for us Venezuelans.”

Earning millions is tough? They should be thankful they’re blessed athletically and that America allows them to earn millions playing a game they love. Venezuela offers no such opportunity last I checked.

Success Should be Measured in Titles: Albert Pujols reportedly wants an 8-year deal worth $240M or $30M per season. The first baseman has Hall of Fame numbers over his first 10 years but only one World Series title in two trips to the Fall Classic. Statistics matter to an agent negotiating a contract but shouldn’t the St. Louis Cardinals look at championships? Albert is far down the list when looking at other superstars’ accomplishments over their first 10 years: Bill Russell-8, John Havlichek-8, Joe DiMaggio-5, Mickey Mantle-5, Derek Jeter-4, Wayne Gretzky-4, Kobe Bryant-3, Stan Musial-3, Michael Jordan-3, Sandy Koufax-3, Reggie Jackson-3, Walt Frazier-2 and Bobby Orr-2.

Numbers Don’t Add Up: Josh Hamilton of the Texas  Rangers — American League Championship Series MVP who led his team to the World Series — signed a 2-year, $24M pact with Texas. No typo  — he’ll be paid $12M a year for two seasons. Meanwhile — the crestfallen Derek Jeter  recovers from his protracted contract negotiation — one where the charmed New York Yankee captain settled for $15M for three years.  Jeter sought $23M a year for 5 years. Last year was one of Jeter’s worst — 10 HR, 67 RBI and a . 270 BA — 44 points below his career average.  In the clutch, he was 1 for 22 with the bases loaded and struck out 106 times – the most in five seasons. By contrast, Hamiliton hit 32 HR, drove in 100 runs and hit .359 – 89 points better than Jeter last year.

The Balance of Politics: Six years ago, Brad Brownell, coach at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, made a lateral move to Wright State in Ohio. Seems he had a falling out with his athletic director. Whatever the issue, it had nothing to do with wins and losses. See, Brownell took the Seahawks to a pair of NCAA Tournament berths. At Wright State, he continued to win, leading the Raiders to 20-win seasons four times and once taking the team to the NCAA Tournament — the first time for that school in 14 years. Back east, people were watching. When Clemson Coach Oliver Purnell left for DePaul in 2010, Brownell was snapped up in Tigerland. Today, his Clemson team is 18-6 and fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference, trailing only Duke, North Carolina and Florida State. If he continues to win, he won’t be leaving for another mid-major job. It’ll more likely be at Indiana University for the Evansville native.

Behind the Rooney Rule: Established in 2003, Art Rooney’s measure to aid minority coaches — mostly African-American — has worked. Before the measure, there were 2 black NFL head coaches. Today, there are 7.

Comments from Steelers’ Coach Mike Tomlin soothe, to a point. “I think it’s gave me an opportunity to present myself maybe in some situations that I wouldn’t have had,” he said in 2007 upon being hired by the Rooney family, owners of the club. Added former Raiders’ Head Coach Art Shell at the time, “Mike wouldn’t have gotten this opportunity without this rule. He never would have sat down with Dan Rooney.”

True but what about the racial disparity among assistants?

Currently, there are 29 NFL coaches — mostly assistants — who have blood relatives (past and present) in the NFL or the NCAA. Another is related to the manager of a Major League Baseball club.

Of that 29, just ONE is black – Skip Peete of the Dallas Cowboys . His brother, Rodney quarterbacked in the league for 16 years. One in 29 figures to .032%. And of those 29 assistants, there are more than a few “quality control” positions — posts  seemingly created for the sons of current coaches.

Keeping up with the Jones’s: Why does the media keep feeding the Arlington-Stadium-sized ego of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones? A month ago, Scott Pelley of CBS News interviewed a teared-up Jones on “60 Minutes.” A camera close-up caught Jones crying while  saying, “This is agony” in reference to his team’s dismal 2010 season. Then there had was the homespun “sit-in” with Jones and former players Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Darryl Johnston.  Last I looked, the Cowboys weren’t playing in the big game. Finally we learn 400 people with Super Bowl tickets were not allowed inside the stadium because their seats weren’t installed. Yup,  Jones planned the extra seating but his maintenance crew never got the memo. Reason was, Jones sought a new attendance record for the sport’s biggest game. “For greed’s sake,” was how the New York Times called it. Remember those crowd shots outside FOX kept showing but never commented on? I thought they were fans in Green Bay, getting ready to celebrate in the streets when actually they were the patrons with tickets outside the stadium in Dallas.  See – Jones has FOX in his pocket just like 60 Minutes!

Christina UGH-guilera: If we can make performers blink like androids, why can’t we set up a Teleprompter for those singing the national anthem? What should be honorable again turned into a botch job from an entertainer far-more concerned about her hair, make-up and manicure than memorizing the lines for maybe her most notable live performance.

Highest of Insults: Gilbert Arenas recently returned to Washington as a member of the Orlando Magic. The headline on the Washington Post web site read, “Fallen Hero Returns.” Just who compiles these pitiful phrases? Any sensible person  realizes “Fallen Hero” refers to a man or woman fatally wounded in battle defending his or her country. This phrase should be used only for when remains of a true fallen hero are flown home to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. And remember, Arenas had a felony gun charge for when he brought and allegedly drew a pistol on a teammate in the Verizon Center. Some hero!

Creative SENSEless: Super Bowl advertisements are costly so you’d think the marketing staffs in charge would be, well, creative. Instead, we witnessed one mindless ad after another  — each filled with sexual innuendo. Just “out with it” stuff that lacked ingenuity, charm or humor. In one, a young man sends an e-valentine to his girlfriend, saying, “What a great rack you have.”  In a talking car commercial, a male car says to a female car,  “I think you’d like my ride.”  Another ad featured a man telling his girl over and over, “I want to sleep with you.” I’m 55 and was turned off by the empty themes. What must an 10-year-old girl have thought? Or a 75-year-old woman? Class and decorum obviously had no place here.

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