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But the Chargers can be taken too. Almost all San Diegans are aware of the 1998 draft in which the Chargers traded away three top picks plus active players to move up to second place in the draft and land Ryan Leaf, who has since landed in a heap of trouble and never amounted to anything in the sport. By trading up to get a supposedly top player, then paying him a monstrous salary, a team often pays “the price of a Porsche for a clunker,” write the authors. By taking top picks, “you will never get a great player at a cheap price.” But just try to tell that to the National Football League.

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JustWondering May 12, 2011 @ 8:09 a.m.

"Home teams get better treatment from umpires and referees, according to this new book."

An interesting premise, I have a couple of thoughts on this story.

So in baseball, with 162 games and balance between home and away games, the bias canceled out???

But in the playoffs, whether is baseball, football or most any sport the team with the higher seed gets the call. So are the authors implying the SuperBowl in the pros, and bowl games at the college level, where teams play at neutral sites, are NOT biased by the officiating?

One man does not a football team make...but with that said, Eli Manning and the Giants have a SuperBowl ring since he's been at the helm quarterbacking the team. Rivers and the Charger can't past the second round of the playoffs with, what most who follow the stats say, they have a much deeper talent pool. So much for stats.

Now who was snookered in the 2004 draft, it wasn't the Giants as you say. It was Charger fans by Spanos. All that 2004 nonsense did was allow Spanos to raise prices over and over for all the overrated talent. Talent that has yet to deliver us to the promise land and never will while a billionaire gets richer.


Don Bauder May 12, 2011 @ 2:23 p.m.

Yes, pro baseball teams play 162 games, half at home, half on the road. So it should balance out. However, it a 5-game or 7-game playoff series, the team with the most home games should have the advantage. I agree that Chargers and Padres fans have been snookered by Spanos and Moores through the years. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh May 12, 2011 @ 9:06 a.m.

These authors have spoken heresy. Why, if the fans thought the refs and umps were showing bias, it would go far to lessen the interest in the sports in question. if you can't believe in the fairness of the officials, what basis is there for really thinking that "your" team can come out on top if only it outplays the other team?

Biased officiating has been a scandal of sorts in college sports over the years, resulting in some teams finding it hard to get other school's teams to play them. (A few years back there was some obviously biased officiating going in favor of Washington State in its home football games. Hmm. Didn't Ryan Leaf come from there?) But supposedly those few cases are dealt with and only rarely recur. Uh, huh.

Any time that a team starts to do better than it whould do, and when there is a reason or need for its success--such as a stadium/ballpark election--the fix is suspected. Now they are saying that officiating could be the cause and means of affecting the outcome. Nothing is sacred, is it?


Don Bauder May 12, 2011 @ 2:27 p.m.

Yes, nothing is sacred. On the one hand, the authors say that the refs and umps are honest folks -- they only react unconsciously when aiding the home team. On the other hand, the authors admit that the leagues want home teams to win, and refs and umps want their jobs. So the authors are hedging. Game-fixing and point-shaving are not new, as you know. I can remember fixing scandals in the 1940s. If memory serves me right, the Chicago Black Sox scandal was before 1920. Best, Don Bauder


JustWondering May 12, 2011 @ 2:43 p.m.

Ah yes.... Shoeless Joe Jackson... He is remembered for his performance on the field and for his association with the Black Sox Scandal, in which members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox participated in a conspiracy to fix the World Series.


Don Bauder May 12, 2011 @ 5:18 p.m.

The 1919 Black Sox scandal gave birth to the saying, "Say it ain't so!" As Shoeless Joe Jackson was on his way to a hearing (or something similar), a waif ran up to him and shouted, "Say it ain't so, Joe!" Best, Don Bauder


Twister May 14, 2011 @ 7:02 p.m.

Alas, it always has been thus . . .

About the only remaining argument for "professional" sports teams is that it diverts the yahoos from committing worse crimes (except maybe for child neglect and wife-beating.

Congratulations, btw, on the new format; both your blogs and articles on the same page! At least one of my pleas has been answered!


Don Bauder May 14, 2011 @ 9:44 p.m.

There is a publicly-held company called World Wrestling, or World Wrestling Federation -- something like that. The CEO calls it "scripted entertainment." Probably the SEC requires the truth in its filings. I am so old that I can remember in the 1940s and 1950s when the announcers on professional wrestling used to pretend it was for real. Does anyone remember the professional match for the world championship in which one of the contestants, the villain, was Gorgeous George? (He sprayed perfume in the ring before deigning to get in.) Or does anyone remember Haystacks Calhoun, who supposedly weighed 400 or 500 pounds? (I have forgotten which.) There would be a tag team match: Haystacks by himself against two other contestants. Best, Don Bauder


Twister May 15, 2011 @ 2:51 p.m.

George used a real purty little perfume bottle, one of those little crystal thangs wit a little (pink sequined?) rubber bulb. I could never figger out whether he was striking a blow for tranvestite rights or makin' fun oughta 'em. Didn't he wear a cape too?

In the wrestling business they would always ask you if you were a "bleeder." If you were, the other guy (or George) would have some tape on his fingers with razor blades sticking out just a little, almost flat against the tape. Your "opponent" would wait until you got up a sweat, then would scrape your forehead by drawing the blade backwards across your forehead following on the heels of some "terrible injury" or another. A little blood mixes with a lot of sweat made quite a prop.

Any-way, the whole gol-durned world is a flim-flam factory now. That's why I ain't got no confidence in "The Economy."


Don Bauder May 15, 2011 @ 6:11 p.m.

I can't remember now whether Gorgeous George sprayed perfume in the ring before he "wrestled," or whether his aide sprayed the perfume. In either case, the audience booed vehemently. Gorgeous George was the bad guy and played the role to the hilt. Yes, there is a lot of similarity between today's world and professional wrestling. Trenchant observation. Best, Don Bauder


Twister May 15, 2011 @ 8:23 p.m.

I ain't sure neither, but I remember it as being George. Maybe there're some old kineoscopes or still photos?


Don Bauder May 16, 2011 @ 6:51 a.m.

I'm sure there is historical documentation on the famous Gorgeous George "wrestling match." I didn't check google or Wikipedia. I don't remember who his opponent was. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 16, 2011 @ 6:53 a.m.

Keep in mind that today's Padres play in the worst league in baseball -- the NL West. The LA Dodgers have financial problems, Arizona is lousy, the Rockies seem to be fading fast. The Giants may still have a good team. The Padres may do better than you think. Best, Don Bauder


tomjohnston May 16, 2011 @ 4:55 p.m.

The NL West is their division, not their league. And in terms of on the field, I would argue that the NL central is no better than the NL west, if not worst. The Cubbies, Astros and the Bucs were 3 of the worst NL teams last year and aren't any better this year. And in the Al, the central is not much either. The only suprise is the Indians playing so well and the Twins sucking so bad; at least they can fairly claim injuries as their. Excluding the AL east which is hands down the best division in baseball, last year there was only about a 3-4 difference percentage wise between all of the other divisions. When it all shakes out, I would expect this year to be the same.


Don Bauder May 16, 2011 @ 6:26 p.m.

That means 2 of the 3 NL divisions are lousy. It doesn't give much hope to National League fans, although last year the Giants won the World Series. Of course, the AL has been better than the NL for some time. Best, Don Bauder


JustWondering May 16, 2011 @ 10 a.m.

There's little indication of that this season looking at from their current place in the standings, the cellar.


Don Bauder May 16, 2011 @ 11:37 a.m.

Admittedly, there is little indication now that the Padres will have a good season, but I repeat: the other teams in the NL West, other than the Giants, look pretty anemic. Best, Don Bauder


InTheCity March 15, 2012 @ 10:28 p.m.

I completely agree. It is just a statistical and emotional phenomenon. Teams do better at home. Look at the schedule: www.inthecitysandiego.com/san-diego-p... for 2012 looks to be a repeat for sure.


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