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  • Caesar Cliffius

    My name is Cliff Eastham. I live in West Virginia with my wife Debbie, the loveliest lady in the world, and my youngest daughter, Holly who is equally as lovely as her mother.

    I enjoy writing about sports, and love a good healthy debate. My favorite teams are the Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Redskins.

    There are only a couple of sports that I don't write about, Hockey and Soccer specifically. My favorite sports are Baseball, Boxing, NFL, NCAA Basketball, MMA.

    Feel free to look around, and your comments are most welcome. Subscribe via email if you wish.

    It is decreed.....Caesar Cliffius
    this 8th day of December, in the Year of our Lord 2009.

By Acquiring Curtis Granderson, the NY Yankees Become Easier to Hate

First things first, I don’t hate the New York Yankees. My best friend loves them, so I must dignify everything I say about them.

The latest acquisition, center fielder Curtis Granderson, late of the Detroit Tigers is the most recent arrow in the quiver of Yankee haters everywhere. Easily one of the better center fielders in the game, Curtis becomes yet another power hitting left-handed batter for the Bronx Bombers.

If someone looked at a graph of the 29-year old Granderson career they would easily become disillusioned and think the best has already been. His average has plummeted from .302 in 2007 to .280 in 2008, to an all-time low of .249 last year.

The Tigers began their discussion with the Yankees, salivating over Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes. In the end of this transaction, the Yankees sent pitcher Ian Kennedy to the Arizona Diamondbacks, pitcher Phil Coke and outfielder Austin Jackson to Detroit.

Granderson is expected to immediately patrol center field in Yankee Stadium. What this does to the future of Melky Cabrera depends on how the free agency status of Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui is handled.

From an outsider gazing into the fishbowl, the Yankees just seem to be content on climbing over who or what is necessary to obtain the best at each position. I realize that is a stretch calling Granderson the best, however I do not know many teams that would not love to have him in their lineup.

During the off-season in 2008-2009 they obtained arguably the best pitcher in the American League in C. C. Sabathia and one of the best in A. J. Burnett. They also went and got first baseman Mark Teixeira and outfielder-first baseman Nick Swisher, each of whom contributed greatly to their Championship drive.

Is it natural to hate a team because of their fiscal abilities? When you are a squad such as the Florida Marlins whose highest paid player makes less than $6 M. They have fewer millionaires than many fortune 500 companies.

The only answer is some form of salary maximum. It should not boil down to the team with the deepest pockets being the World Champions. That is what we are currently viewing. Should something be done to negate this financial pre-requisite?

You tell me.

Cliff Eastham is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report.

Open Letter to Ford Frick, RE: Roger Maris

(I realize he is dead)

Dear Mr. Frick,

You sir, have tainted one of the most revered records in all of baseball.

Why did you do it?  Did you fold under pressure or just have a personal vendetta against Roger Maris?

Maybe Mantle too as I believe you made your “decree” prior to being certain which one of them had the better chance of  taking the crown off the “beloved” Babe’s head.

This record was broken legitimately and within the course of a season.  Just because the season was eight games longer than the prior years, Maris should not be denied a bona fide record, broken without the aid of any performance enhancing techniques.

Unless, of course, you think three packs of camels a day enhanced him in any way.

Anyone who looks at the record book in the future will view it as a record that has a problem attached to it.

That is what people do when they see an asterisk you know.  They begin to let their eyes drift to the bottom of the page, in order to see what explanation needs to be said about a particular item.

You, as part of the elders of the game, took it upon yourself to proclaim that Maris’ record was not legit.

That is the only such hallowed record that has such a disgraceful companion with it.

It is my opinion, sir, and maybe only mine, but I believe you ruined the remaining portion of his baseball career.

His health began to decline and he was losing his hair due to the stress of the fiasco.

When a man has within his grasp, the chance to dethrone one of the all time greats, that should be what he has to deal with; not a baseball commissioner who had no backbone.

You are aware that he won two consecutive Most Valuable Player Awards.

Did you also know that he is one of only two players in the course of major league history to win two MVP awards and not be invited into the National Baseball Hall of Fame?

In great part, I point the finger of blame right at you.  For the longest time Maris was the only player with a “major” record who was not a Hall of Famer.

Your total disrespect for Maris and his outstanding achievement diminished his chances of being one of baseball’s immortals.

I have gone so far as to send a letter to Stan Musial (who was on the Veterans’ Committee at the time) to take a close look at Maris’ contributions to the game as well as his statistics.

I am not saying that Roger’s statistics alone made him worthy of the Hall of Fame.  I am saying, that what he did and how he did it, along with his two MVP awards made him a desirable candidate.

I know you are gone now and this letter will never reach you.  But it sure takes a load off my chest to write it.

If you and Roger are in the same place, and perhaps have mended the fences, please tell him I am still doing anything I can to help him gain entrance into the Shrine.

Eternally,

Cliff Eastham

Roger Maris’ No. 1 Fan

Cliff Eastham is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report where this article was first published.