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Article:Straight Talk from SoCal

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Shawne Merriman

Shawne Merriman is taking a big risk.

Saints Marching to LA

An unidentified partner of Ed Roski, a key investor interested in bringing the National Football League back to the Los Angeles area, told a local Southern California paper earlier this week that he had “no doubt” that the city would be home to a professional team in 2009. At this point in time, no current NFL team has been identified by the league or other news agency as a legitimate candidate for the LA market, which turns this whole report into one big game of “he said, she said.” 

Majestic Realty Vice President John Semcken, who is partners with developer Ed Roski, Jr., said Tuesday, “We are going to have a team here next September.”

According to the report, any facilities – interim or permanent – should be able to accommodate not one, but two NFL teams.

Roski’s stadium in the city of Industry would start construction if a team moves to Los Angeles, and in the meantime, the team would likely use either the Rose Bowl in Pasadena or the Coliseum just south of downtown Los Angeles for their game and practice facilities.  Which begs the question: If Roski’s group is serious about the possibility of the NFL coming to Los Angeles in 2009, the question now is what team are they going to lure to the area? The Vikings turned down Roski’s offer earlier this week, but Mr. Gustav may soon evict the New Orleans Saints from the Bayou.

With a possible category five hurrican expected to hit the French Quarter in the coming days and a mandatory evacution issued by the mayor, the Los Angeles Saints could become a reality.

Merriman Taking a Huge Risk

Despite two torn ligaments in his left knee, Shawne Merriman has decided that he’ll play in 2008 and chase the ever-elusive Super Bowl title with his fellow Charger teammates.

Merriman, who underwent surgery to repair cartilage damage five months ago, has experienced persistent pain in the knee during training camp. As a result he has met with four different doctors, who have all agreed that “Lights Out” needs to have surgery to repair the torn ligaments.

While it is certainly admirable of Merriman to put the team’s goals first, he is taking a huge risk for he has been told by doctors that he could suffer a possible career-ending injury if he attempts to play without having surgery. It is easy to understand his motivation to get back on the field and chase a championship with San Diego, but logic sometimes needs to take over.

There is a slight chance that he could make it through the entire 2008 season without doing irreparable damage to the knee, but what will happen that one time he gets caught underneath a pile, gets taken out on a block, or lands awkwardly after a play? That could occur in a span of five seconds.

Winning a Super Bowl for your team, your city, and yourself, is undoubtedly priceless, but the ramifications of a career ending injury would be so severe. Merriman needs to take a step back, relax, and think about this a moment, before he goes out and does something he may regret one day. It would much better if he took the year off to properly heal before making a run at a Super Bowl in 2009. At 24 years of age, this won’t be his only chance to win a title.

Teixeira Thriving in the OC

If you’re one of those Angel fans, who continue to reminisce about the departure of Casey Kotchman and have been baffled by the addition of Mark Teixeira, than it’s safe to say that your baseball knowledge is no greater than that of my ten year-old sister. Yes, to my surprise, numerous Angel fans sent in their complaints to the  Los Angeles Times, criticizing management for trading Kotchman for a rental player such as Teixeira. Now, nearly one month after the trade, the Angels have been getting all they can ask for from their new “big bat,” while Kotchman has struggled so far in Atlanta.

  Since being dealt to Anaheim on July 29, Teixeira has been batting .379 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs with a .474 on-base percentage in 26 games as a member of Mike Scioscia’s ball club. On the other hand, Kotchman, who has been highly regarded by the Angels for so many years, has been batting just .157 with zero home runs and 5 RBIs with a .259 on base percentage in twenty games for Atlanta.

Considering the fact Teixeira is far more familiar with the American League than Kotchman is with the National League, it might be a little unfair to compare their performances. Teixeira played four and a half seasons in the American League West with the Texas Rangers before being traded to the Braves a year ago and says it has been an easy adjustment for him due to his familiarity with the parks and pitchers in the American League.

“I think it was easier for me to come back to the American League,” Teixeira told reporters earlier this week. “It was more difficult last year going into the National League with new parks and new situations. But this year, I’m coming back to the AL West where I played before and in a park where I played 10 times a year.”

While fans had reservations about Teixeira due to his previous struggles at Angel Stadium, it is clear that he is more than comfortable at the Big A. Since joining the Angels, he has been batting .431 with six homers and 14 RBIs in 15 games in Anaheim.

“It’s a great place to hit — the weather, the lights, the background,” Teixeira said in an interview. “But if I had to hit against Angels pitchers for 81 games here, my stats would be a little bit different.”

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