So the demons have been exorcised.... sort of.
Game One of the 2017 World Series is in the books, and Clayton Kershaw, debuting in the World Series under not only the intense heat of a southern California late October evening, but the glare of the immense spotlight, thrived under those conditions.
Kershaw was brilliant last night, striking out 11 Houston Astros batters, surrendering only one run and allowing only three hits over 7 innings. Meantime, Kershaw got all the help he needed off homerun blasts from Chris Taylor in the first inning, and the game-winning, 2-run shot from Justin Turner in the sixth inning as the Dodgers prevailed by a 3-1 margin.
Has Kershaw finally done away with the demons of postseason pasts? More than likely, yes. He is 3-0 this postseason and was beyond exceptional last night in a situation that was full of high drama and even loftier expectations.
For the record, Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel threw an amazing game as well. The Dodgers hit into three double plays on the night and Keuchel, before losing some command over his pitching in the tail end of his night, was on fire. It was quite the pitchers duel before the sixth inning game changer.
Rich Hill takes the mound tonight for Los Angeles. He'll be challenged by Justin Verlander. Gametime tonight is 6 p.m. (MTN) on Fox Television.
Martavis Bryant is upset, and he clearly likes to let everyone know about.
The extremely talented, yet often times self-troubled wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers has made it more than clear, via social media, that he is unhappy with his role on the team.
Twice this season, Bryant has expressed his frustration with his role on the team and has made it clear he wishes to be traded.
On a related note, I too am unhappy with my role in my current organization (Please note the intended sarcasm, for those corporate folks who may be reading this later). I have a good job in which I get all the perks I could possibly want. I get free coffee every morning, I get to do the greatest job I could possibly imagine, I work with extremely gifted and talented people who share both my passion and enthusiasm for individual and team success.
But there could be more.
So instead of doing the smart thing and addressing those issues in a professional manner, I'm going online where every fan, pundit, critic and troll can have access to my neurotic behavior and express my displeasure with the very organization that employs me and allows me to do something I love and get paid very well at the same time.
Coach Mike Tomlin said this week in a press conference the Bryant's latest online exploits were not high on his agenda. Tomlin is busy preparing his team for a Sunday night game against the Detroit Lions.
That's his job. And Tomlin doesn't need to air his grievances about every aspect of his job on social media.
Is that because Tomlin is held to a higher standard?
Is that because Tomlin is a responsible adult who realizes that negative actions can and do result in even greater consequences and repercussions?
Is that because Tomlin understands the goals of the business and the entire organization outweigh the individual needs and attention-seeking, childish temper tantrums of an individual?
The answer -- to all three questions -- is an emphatic yes.
Tomlin told reporters this week that when he and Bryant do finally have a chance to sit down and address the latest episode of narcissistic behavior, that Tomlin would "rain down his judgment."
That doesn't sound like it's going to go well for the individual causing these distractions.
Seems ESPN is back in the news again this morning, and for the second time this week, it's all negative.
According to an online report from MSN.com, Jenn Sterger has taken to Twitter to expose (for lack of a better term) the 4-letter network for its alleged hypocrisy in wanting to distance itself from the Barstool Sports brand, and in doing so she brought up some shocking sexual harassment allegations.
In a statement released this week, Sterger said she was brought into ESPN headquarters on more than one occasion to test for several shows. The former New York Jets “Gameday" host described how she was pressured by a coworker to go to a “club” that ended up being a strip club, where some of the company’s employees “teased me about how I was uncomfortable and didn’t want to participate.”
According to Sterger, “The following day I was confronted by two of my bosses about whether or not I had been in attendance the previous night. I told them I had been, but didn’t want to be there once I realized what it was. They admonished me and said it was a bad look for the company for me to be there and to never do it again. I was fired before my plane landed in Tampa.”
The more disturbing allegations Sterger made were against an ESPN employee – whom she says is the same man who pressured her to go to the strip club. Sterger said the individual brought her to Bristol in 2008 to interview for a job opening, at which time she was “paraded” around the office and asked a series of “inappropriate” questions.
Sterger said the ESPN employee asked her to go to dinner, but she declined and took a train home. She says the individual still works at ESPN and that she was later told he only brought her in for an interview to show his coworkers she is “just as f—able in person as I was in pictures.”
ESPN has issued a statement saying none of the incidents Sterger described were ever brought to their attention.
This is a no-win situation for everyone, whether you're the person making the accusations, the person or people facing these allegations, or anyone on the outside who may have an opinion on the matter.
Because if you're in the role of the victim in these allegations, you'll either be publicly singled out for scorn or ridicule or sympathy.
If you play the role of the villain, you'll be publicly humiliated by a ravenous pack of online dogs who will want you, your career and every single thing about you torn to shreds and burnt to a fine powder.
And if you have an opinion on the matter -- depending on the opinion, of course -- you're either taking the side of a woman-hating misogynist or you're taking the side of a person who some people will describe as an attention-seeking parasite.
This comes on the heels of the latest nonsense with ESPN and the disastrously short relationship between the network and the folks at Barstool Sports, a story I'm sure we're not quite done with, but one where I still cannot get a single person from Barstool to make a public comment on my air, nor to even reply to a single email or correspondence.