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Tom Jones' Two Cents

Sports analysis, perspective and more.

What bugs you



This week, Times sports writer Tom Jones listed things in sports that had his goat, crawled under his skin, got on his very last nerve. Like how the Rays never bunt and that stupid AFLAC duck that quacks and wakes him from his Saturday afternoon baseball naps, and the Red Sox's Kevin Youkillis, for no particular reason.

Then he gave readers their chance to vent. What bugs you?

Some answers were funny. Julie Upman of Clearwater, for example, hates watching ballplayers spit ("Maybe it's a girl thing).

Some answers made perfect sense. Reader Frank Harrell pointed out that it's impossible for a player to give 110 percent ("100 percent is the maximum!'' he practically shouted through his e-mail.)

And one answer was funny and made sense, depending on your point of view. Joe Montemarano of Tampa wrote, "You want to know what bugs me? You!!! Tom Jones!!!'' And, Joe from Tampa? You're off the Christmas card list!

Here are some of the comments we received:

When a star pitcher states he is almost where he needs to be physically and mentally to be at peak performance when the season is more than half completed. What does he do in the offseason, play Nintendo and eat bonbons?
Carl Decanini
via e-mail

The unforgivable greed ballplayers have when negotiating a contract. Bad enough that free agency makes players loyal to dollars and not to teams goes along with their lackadaisical effort. Also teams wanting to build new stadiums when the current ones suffice. This all leads to high ticket prices.
Dick Smith
Spring Hill

The lack of hustle by the Rays, especially B.J. Upton.
Rich Tron
via e-mail

Maybe it’s a girl thing, but does anybody else think watching baseball players spit on TV is gross and disgusting? They spit constantly during the game and the TV crews get lots of closeups. And given the Rays have an indoor field where the rain never falls, where does all this stuff go? Carry that thought one step further: What’s it like in the dugout? No wonder manager Joe Maddon  stands up by the railing during the game and so many of the players sit up on the back of the bench with their feet off the floor. They probably need knee-high waders to walk around in there.
Julie Upman

Chris Simms claiming to be held hostage. I would give up my spleen to be paid millions of dollars. When people call NASCAR and horse racing a sport. And Bob Costas, left. Just the sight of this guy makes me want to do something illegal.
Anthony Saylor

It’s one thing to have a corporate sponsor but quite another to completely change the name of a sporting event. I was dismayed that the coverage of NASCAR’s 15-year-old 400-mile race on Sunday  omitted its traditional name, the Brickyard 400. Instead (as in the Times) it was referred to as the Allstate 400. What’s next? The State Farm 500 at Indianapolis?
Carolyn Cotton

Athletes who  say they’re insulted or disrespected by a club’s offer of millions of dollars. Please, someone disrespect me.
Bob Beninati

How come every time you watch baseball, the players and coaches have to spit? It literally makes me want to hurl!  Jeanne Zelasko — who taught her how to dress?  Manny Ramirez and that smirky look on his face!
Polly Stamp
Joe Maddon quotes in Tuesday’s paper after the Rays lost to Toronto, like, “I really liked the way we played tonight a lot” and “If we keep doing what we did tonight … we are going to the playoffs.” Sorry, but in my opinion that is a LOSER speaking, and if they continue to play like they did last night, they won’t even get close to making the playoffs.
Don Hill
via e-mail

Listening to radio or TV broadcasters who feel they must get so in depth analyzing each pitch — four-seam, two-seam, cutter, sinker, heavy sinker. Hey, they are all variations of a fastball, okay; let’s move on. Having to step out of the batter’s box and re-Velcro batting gloves after having just done it 10 seconds ago, then simply standing there and taking the pitch.
Nick Quartaro
via e-mail
Joe Maddon’s “Loved the way we played” after losing to Toronto on Monday night. He is a good loser. All I can say is a good loser is still a loser! The idea of attending a Rays home game in anything other than a 74 degree, dry dome. Jonathan Papelbon — his lip is better than his grip, either on the ball or reality. The Indianapolis Colts have Tony Dungy and we don’t.
Timmy Kitchen
via e-mail

Golf announcers who continue to prattle inanely when we, the viewers, have a chance to hear dialogue between caddie and player or player and rules official. Golf announcers who say, after a player hits a good shot from a bad lie that lands close to the pin, “He couldn’t have hit it any better than that!” Well, if it went in the hole, wouldn’t that be better?
Tom Shille
Temple Terrace

You want to know what really bugs me? YOU!!! Tom Jones!!!
Why is it that you badmouth most professional franchises that are actually good, especially NEW YORK!? You’re always bellyaching about Northeastern teams being on the tube. That’s because they are good!
Joe Montemarano

The angle sports networks choose to show the pitches from the mound to the batter’s box. Since the advent of the electronic ad behind home plate, the angle has been increased to always include the ad visible behind and to the right of the batter’s box. Used to be the camera angle was over the pitcher’s shoulder and the viewer could better appreciate the balls and strikes called by the umpire. Not anymore; money has defined how the TV viewer sees the game.
Tom Goodrich
via e-mail
Enjoying the Rays on TV from the Trop, and then having to watch people act like idiots while yakking on a cell phone and waving to the camera, usually from seats they didn’t pay for.
Jim Jackson
Apollo Beach

A coach or sports announcer enthusing about an athlete who “always gives 110 (120, 150, 200) percent effort on the field/court/ice.” A hundred percent should be the MAXIMUM! How can an athlete give more than the maximum?
Frank Harrel
via e-mail

I have a grinding, growling, desperate complaint — the artificial, fake noise on Fox Sports Net that is so loud, I cannot hear what Joe Magrane and Dewayne Staats are saying. Grrrrr. What can we do ?
Libby Lockhart
via e-mail

Those women tennis players who scream each time they hit the ball at Wimbledon. That Pete Rose isn’t in the Hall of Fame. And the designated hitter.
Paul Wyness
St. Petersburg

[Last modified: Monday, June 14, 2010 2:42pm]


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