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Remembering A-Roid

08.03.09 at 12:26 pm ET
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While the David Ortiz-Manny Ramirez steroids scandal didn’t surprise many in Sox Nation it still hurt. It was a like a deep cut that was ignored, got infected and now has to be cleaned out and a bandage put over it to stop the fresh bleeding. The announcement last Thursday was embarrassing, hurtful and confusing but while Sox fans try to figure out how to react, the rest of the baseball world is in an uproar.

Ortiz and Ramirez share the limelight once again, not for a big Sox win as would have been customary in the past, but for being the most recent to come out on the 2003 list of performance enhancing drug users. The same list that includes the name of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. Remember the scandal that surrounded the player Sox fans love to hate?  Many critics seem to have forgotten Rodriguez’s denial and eventual admission to steroid use right before the start of the baseball season. He then convenienly missed the first month of the season with hip surgery as the news rocked the baseball world. 

 

Ortiz’s hypocritical statements about steroid users after the A-Rod scandal pale in comparison to Rodriguez’s outright denial in prime time to Katie Couric in his ’60 Minutes’ interview.

The Boston sports media berated the third baseman after the interview and eventual confirmation of his steroid use on the list. A-roid, A-Fraud, A-…use your imagination. Red Sox nation reveled in the fact they had more ammunition to fire into a heated Sox-Yanks debate. Now it’s only fair for the New York media to lay its harsh words on Ortiz and Ramirez. The New York Times actually sympathized with Sox fans. But whether we like it or not, the Sox and Yanks are more or less on equal ground in terms of the steroids debate.

While the debates rage about the Red Sox World Series titles being ‘tainted’  the scandal doesn’t seem to have affected Ortiz or the team, yet. Since the news broke on Thursday, the Sox haven’t lost a game after having lost seven of their previous ten games. With the upcoming four-game series against the Yankees in New York this weekend it should be interesting to see how the official Sox-Yanks steroids era begins.

Is the payoff worth the prospects you lose? Pt. 2

07.30.09 at 12:08 pm ET
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In this business, we like to give credit to those who gave us anything useful for our articles, blogs, you name it. For example, if I write something and Chris Price has a useful quote from a player that I throw in, I’ll put at the bottom that he contributed to the report. Fascinating, right?  Well for this one, I’ll be crediting two people, only one of which is a writer. The other? One of the WEEI.com faithful.

A reader named Jim wrote this yesterday in regard to a potential trade for Roy Halladay (minor spelling errors have been corrected):

Whether it’€™s 2, 5, or 10 years from now, Clay Buchholz will never be Roy Halladay. Get the damn deal done. With the exception of Bard, any 4 top 10 prospects including Buchholtz is OK with me. Halladay, Beckett and Lester in the playoffs and World Series spells championship to me.

The last sentence of that comment is completely reasonable. Even with some of the defensive woes of the Red Sox, one would have to think that a potential acquisition of Halladay would substantially boost the odds of Terry Francona seeing his third World Series title since 2004. That being said, it’s the beginning of Jim’s statement that I wouldn’t be so quick to agree with.

WEEI.com’s Alex Speier (the other guy that’s getting credit– I know you were all on the edge of your seats) filled in for Rob Bradford for Sunday’s “Mut & Bradford” show. While he accrued a cult following in the live blog,what stuck out to me was a fascinating point made by Alex to a caller. During a discussion about Buchholz, Alex asked the caller to think about a guy who came up late in the season as a rookie, turned heads in just his second career start, struggled mightily shortly thereafter, and was sent back through the system to rework his approach. He then dropped the bomb on the caller that he was no longer talking about Buchholz, but his potential trade counterpart in Halladay.

(Alex wrote about this last summer at the time of Buchholz’ struggles. Click here for his piece.)

When thinking about it, it’s pretty amazing. Back in ’98, Halladay came just one out away from no-hitting the Detroit Tigers (Bobby Higginson hit a solo shot with two down, Detroit’s only hit of the game). He struck out eight, whereas Buchholtz K’d nine in his no-no. Halladay was fine in ’99, posting a 3.92 ERA in 149.1 innings, but it was the 2000 that was similar to Buchholz’ 2008.

In that season, Halladay looked like a lost boy, posting a 4-7 record to go along with a 10.64 ERA. What once looked like can’t-miss was now missing, and the Blue Jays were missing out on a big talent.

Sound familiar?

For those who declared themselves officially off the Buch-wagon last season, perhaps it might prove beneficial to compare Halladay’s 2000 season to Buchholz’ 2008. With the two seasons stacked against each other, it’s relatively easy to see that Blue Jays fans had it even worse.

Pitcher                  IP        W-L      HR      BB    SO    ERA
‘€˜00 Halladay       67.2      4-7        15      42      44    10.64
‘€˜08 Buchholz      76.0      2-9        11      41      72     6.75

Obviously, this is in no way suggesting that the similarities in early-career success followed by struggles means that Buchholz is guaranteed to end up being the same caliber pitcher as Halladay, but there is no denying the comparison.

Maybe Jim’s right– in all likelihood, he is– but if Halladay has taught us anything, it’s that the baseball world has seen speedbumps in a future-ace’s development before. So while time will certainly need to elapse before the question of whether Buchholz is an ace is answered, maybe it’s best that trade-hungry fans re-adjust their approach. Hell, it worked for Halladay.

Alex Speier and Jim the reader contributed to this report.

Read More: Buchholz, Halladay,

What To Get Your Favorite Yankee Slugger…

07.27.09 at 4:15 pm ET
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Despite Monday being the 37th anniversary of the House Judiciary committee’s vote to impeach then-president Richard Nixon, the LEEInks would like to take the time for a much more jovial occasion and send out big birthday wishes to Red Sox Nation’s favorite “villain,” Alex Rodriguez. Today, the Yankee third baseman turns the big 3-4.

It begs the question, what do you possibly get a man who gets paid $27.5 million a year? If LEEInks were in charge of it, here are some of the gifts we think should be unwrapped by the Yankee slugger.

With the Yankees on the road in Tampa this week, Rodriguez will likely be away from movie star girlfriend Kate Hudson. To tide him over, why not get A-Rod a copy of Ms. Hudson’s finest film, Almost Famous.

Speaking of famous blondes who have been romantically-linked to Rodriguez, why not give A-Rod Madonna’s Immaculate Collection? With Madge overseas on her world tour, it’s quite possibly the next best gift.

Also on the musical front, snagging A-Rod a copy of Guitar Hero:World Tour might not be a bad idea. After all, Rodriguez already showed the game some love when he, Tony Hawk, Kobe Bryant and Michael Phelps appeared in a Risky Business-style commercial for the game.

This past offseason, Rodriguez made waves when  he admitted to using steroids as a member of the Texas Rangers earlier this decade. We at the LEEInks think a GNC gift card is a healthy, natural, and downright legal gift idea for the Yankee.

As WEEI.com’s own Alex Speier pointed out last week, Friday was a fifth anniversary of the famed Red Sox-Yankees brawl that had Rodriguez in the center of the fray. The pitcher who threw at Rodriguez that day was right-hander turned troubadour Bronson Arroyo. Despite other dubious history between Rodriguez and Arroyo, the LEEInks thinks it time for bygones to be bygones. We suggest giving A-Rod, Bronson Arroyo’s debut album, Covering the Bases.

Finally, Alex Rodriguez has famously flirted with the World Baseball Classic almost as much as he has with Hollywood celebrities. Rodriguez committed to play for Uncle Sam and then switched allegiances to the Dominican Republic earlier this year.

We suggest getting him both a USA and Dominican Republic jersey. Maybe he’ll chose which one to wear based on the direction of the wind.

With all of those suggestions, the LEEInks would like to say Happy Birthday to Alex Rodriguez!

Or should we say Feliz Cumpleanos?

Read More: alex rodriguez, birthdays, Bronson Arroyo, Kate Hudson

Monday morning LEEInks

07.27.09 at 2:18 pm ET
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An eventful weekend for Major League Baseball leading up to the trading deadline started early with Mark Buehrle’s perfect game and ended with inductions to the Basbeball Hall of Fame. Then, there was the death of a Phillies fan sandwiched in between.

With the Hall of Fame inductions taking place on Sunday, MLB shifted the focus to Cooperstown, where Jim Rice and Ricky Henderson received their bronze plaque honors. Amidst discussions of the future of the Hall and whether or not to induct players from the “steroid era” at least one forbidden player may be getting the nod.

According to the New York Daily News, MLB commissioner Bud Selig was encouraged to reconsider his 20-year ban on Pete Rose from the Hall by fellow Hall of Famer and friend Hank Aaron. If he were to be reinstated, he could only be inducted into the Hall by the 65 living members of the Veterans Committee. While Rose’s cheating came in the form of betting on the game instead of muscle enhancement, it still raises the question of how many cheaters the Hall will take.

The 22-year-old Philly fan was found unconscious in a Citizen’s Bank Park parking lot after a bar brawl on Saturday during a Phillies-Cardinals game. The man had been a guest at a bachelor party taking place at a pub called McFadden’s attached to the park. After disagreements with another group escalated to a fight inside the bar both parties were asked to leave. The fight continued outside and when the police arrived the man was unresponsive.

That same day, a fan in the crowd used a laser pointer to pinpoint St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols while he was at the plate, causing a delay in the game and a search for the fan.

With the baseball trading deadline looming less than five days away, the NFL needed big news to kick off the unofficial start of its season this week with the opening of training camp. The league announced on Thursday that 2010 NFL draft with become a three-day affair with the first round airing in prime time on Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. The steadily increasing number of viewers made the league confident a three-day draft could be a success.

Ciao Gillette

07.27.09 at 2:16 pm ET
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Apparently, Gillette Stadium has become the mecca of international soccer. Earlier this summer, it was SuperLiga 2009, where two Mexican clubs Santos Laguna and Atlas invaded the turf. A few weeks ago, the CONCACAF Gold Cup brought the US national team, Haiti, Grenada and Honduras to the stadium. Sunday night, Gillette became Little Italy.

As part of the World Football Challenge, an international competition taking place in stadiums across America, Italian Serie A clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan battled to a 2-0 Inter win before more than 42,000 fans at Gillette Sunday. The two rival Milan clubs met outside Italy for just the third time in 101 years of play.

Inter Milan’s Diego Milito started the scoring early in the fourth minute on an unassisted goal into the left bottom corner of the net. He added a second goal in the 75th minute after getting just enough on a pass from Dejan Stankovic to bounce it over diving AC Milan goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac into the back of the net.

“I feel very confident,” Milito, Man of the Match said after the game. “Obviously scoring two goals today is a good start but certainly the focus will be for the league play and I hope to continue to do well and help the team win many games to honor the shirt I’m wearing every time I put it on.”

An amusing moment came in the 34th minute when referee Jorge Gonzalez accidently issued a red card — the ticket to an automatic ejection — to AC Milan’s Ronaldinho. Arguably one of the best players in the world, Ronaldinho had merely tugged on Gonzalez’ jersey to get his attention about a play when the ref pulled out a red card. Realizing his mistake and the  gasps from the overwhelming crowd he quickly found the yellow card waving it with a wide grin on his face.

Inter kept the pressure on Kalac with 16 shots, seven of which were on goal, compared to AC Milan’s eight shots, four on goal. While possession time fairly even Inter created better chances and kept the ball longer. Inter turned over the ball nine times but AC Milan could not get past Inter goalkeeper Jesus Cesar.

“I think we did a lot of good things,” AC Milan head coach Leonardo said. “The training session and preparation and everything we did was because we had a lot of problems and injuries. We’ve had a lot of players that have been injured in the last year so that’s why it’s not easy to manage matches and preparation.”

Inter lost its first two matches in the World Football Challenge tying Club America 1-1 last weekend before dropping a 2-0 match to English club Chelsea on Tuesday. AC Milan played for the third time in five days Sunday night having lost its two matches to Chelsea and Club America 2-1.

“We played three matches in this tournament in the last five days,” Leonardo said. “Inter today had been waiting for the last five days to prepare for this match. To play a match every two days is impossible. I think to win this team needed prepartion, time and some new players to come back from injuries. But what they demonstrated these past few days is enough to for to think we have a good team even if we had three defeats. We have to look in a positive way that it prepared the team.”

AC Milan has been trying to regain the attention of LA Galaxy star David Beckham who played for Milan on loan last year. Interestingly enough, Beckham will be visiting Gillette August 8 in a Revs-Galaxy match.

The Man, The Myth, The Legend: Rickey Henderson

07.25.09 at 4:32 pm ET
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Long before Manny was being Manny, Rickey was just being Rickey.

At first glance, Rickey Henderson is the prolific leftfielder who played for nine teams in 25 seasons and became widely regarded as the sport’€™s greatest leadoff hitter of all time, holding the MLB records for career stolen bases, runs scored, and leadoff homeruns ‘€“ the man who will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.

But after further examination, he is also the idiosyncratic Rickey Henderson whose unintentional humor and candor inspired SI’€™s Tom Verducci to write this in 2003:

‘€œThere are certain figures in American history who have passed into the realm of cultural mythology, as if reality could no longer contain their stories: Johnny Appleseed. Wild Bill Hickok. Davy Crockett. Rickey Henderson. They exist on the sometimes narrow margin between Fact and Fiction.’€

The legend of Rickey Henderson far surpasses anything he ever did on the baseball field. His true greatness lies in his stories, his personality, his inner-Rickeyness. Like Yogi Berra and his witty malapropism or ‘€œThe Big Aristotle’€ and his pithy humor, Henderson transcends the platitudes and clichés that have become all too common in post-game press conferences and interviews around the league ‘€“ around the world of sports, for that matter.

He is perhaps best known for referring to himself in the third-person, as in the time he called San Diego Padres GM Kevin Towers and left a message saying, ‘€œKevin, this is Rickey calling on behalf of Rickey. Rickey wants to play baseball.’€ (Although Verducci reported this to be true in his 2003 SI article, Henderson denied the quote during a 2009 interview on Mike & Mike in the Morning).

But there are so many more anecdotes, myths, and legends. Like the times he checked into hotels under the aliases Richard Pryor, Luther Vandross, and James Brown (confirmed as true). Or the time he was sidelined for three games in mid-August with frostbite after he fell asleep with an icepack on his ankle (also confirmed as true).

There was also the game in 2001 when the 42-year-old Henderson broke Ty Cobb’€™s all-time runs record with a homerun, and to celebrate, he slid into home plate.

Other Rickey Henderson folklore has not yet been confirmed, but knowing Henderson it almost doesn’€™t seem too farfetched. Number 24 on The 25 Best Stories of ‘€˜Rickey Being Rickey’€™ asserts the following:

‘€œTo this day and dating back 25 years, before every game he plays, Henderson stands completely naked in front of a full length locker room mirror and says, ‘€˜Rickey’€™s the best,’€™ for several minutes.’€

There’€™s also the widely known story about Henderson and former teammate John Olerud:

‘€œThe story went that a few weeks into Henderson’€™s stint with the Mariners, he walked up to Olerud at the batting cage and asked him why he wore a batting helmet in the field. Olerud explained that he had an aneurysm at nine years old and he wore the helmet for protection. Legend goes that Henderson said, ‘€˜Yeah, I used to play with a guy that had the same thing.’€™ Legend also goes that Olerud said, ‘€˜That was me, Rickey.’€™

The two had played together on the Blue Jays and Mets. Unfortunately, the story is too good to be true.

The Baseball Hall of Fame is replete with baseball superstars ‘€“ sluggers, aces, and defensive whizzes. But Sunday, the Hall will welcome Rickey Henderson, a true legend of cultural mythology.

‘€œHe wasn’€™t just a ball player,’€ said Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins in a recent interview on MLBTV. ‘€œHe was an entertainer.’€

Read More: Hall of Fame, Rickey Henderson, Shaq, Yogi Berra

Who ever said a little fighting was a bad thing?

07.24.09 at 12:33 pm ET
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As WEEI.com’€™s Alex Speier writes in Friday’€™s feature article, today marks the fifth anniversary of ‘€œperhaps the most important regular-season win in franchise history’€: the much heralded Red Sox-Yankees, Varitek/A-Rod melee that ended with a Bill Mueller game-winning homerun off Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the ninth, ultimately propelling the Sox to their first World Series championship in 86 years.  Coincidentally, today also marks 26 years since George Brett’€™s notorious ‘€œPine Tar Incident’€ at Yankee Stadium.

While these two baseball moments are seemingly unrelated (the former was an all-out team against team brawl, while the latter was simply George Brett throwing a bigger temper tantrum than this kid), they do have one important lesson in common: sometimes it doesn’€™t hurt to ruffle your opponent’€™s feathers a bit. In fact, sometimes it can be the galvanizing spark that powers teams to victory.

The Sox could use that spark right about now. They’€™ve lost their last five games in a row and currently trail the Yankees by 2.5 games in the AL East standings. Things aren’€™t looking good.

But tonight presents an opportunity for Boston to get back on track ‘€“ and do a little fighting while they’€™re at it.

Baltimore is a weak team. They sit at the bottom of the division standings, 16.5 games behind the first-place Yankees. Whenever the Sox visit Camden Yards, it essentially becomes Fenway Park Jr., and as if that wasn’€™t bad enough, the Orioles haven’€™t had a winning season since 1997.

Now I don’€™t typically encourage picking on the little guy, but in baseball we must rely on the wise teachings of Sir Charles Darwin and remember that it’€™s all about survival of the fittest. If Boston doesn’€™t do something soon to light a fire under the team’€™s collective ass, we could one day wind up like the sorry team from Baltimore.

That’€™s why I propose a fight, a brawl if you will.

It can’€™t be planned ahead of time. It can’€™t seem too obvious. It needs to be something subtle that eventually erupts into a fist-swinging, head-bumping fracas that gets players out of the dugout, umpires in between them, drunken fans yelling and screaming!

Like the 2004 Yankees brawl or Brett’€™s Pine Tar-inspired outburst, it needs to revive a misplaced sense of urgency. It’s no coincidence that both the Sox and the Royals emerged victorious from their respective games.

I know I sound callous, perhaps even like a bully. I promise you my intentions are only good. I’€™m just looking out for the interests of Boston sports fans everywhere. After all, aren’€™t we a belligerent bunch?

Our quarrelsome nature is contagious, spanning all the way from Fenway to the Garden, and even out to Foxboro. It’€™s a historical aggression, dating back to the Revolutionary War when Bostonians like Paul Revere and Samuel Adams led the fight against the tyrannical British in a passionate pursuit of liberty and justice for all. Our passion for sports runs just as deep, as exhibited on the ice, the football field, or the hardwood court.

In keeping with tradition, it’s the Red Sox civic duty to throw a pitch high and inside, make a snarky remark to an Oriole, or even just pull a Coco Crisp and swing for the fences (with fists, of course).

Who ever said a little fighting was a bad thing?

Note: The author of this article does not condone fighting or violence in any way, shape, or form. He simply wants the Red Sox to win really badly.

Read More: Alex Speier, Brawl, George Brett, Orioles

Jim Rice, A True Legend

07.24.09 at 9:59 am ET
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Jim Rice was a great baseball player who achieved many remarkable achievements not shown by statistics, but in honor of his Hall of Fame induction this weekend and number being retired by the Red Sox next week, LEEINKS is looking back to some other things that Jim Rice has done over the years.

This video details the story of a man who was saved by Rice when he was just a young child attending a game at Fenway Park.

Dan Kennedy explains here in his blog called Media Nation, that Rice made his personal Hall of Fame that day that he saved the boy.

This story, which appeared in Sports Illustrated in April of 1979, tells of how Rice went down to South Carolina to attend a chamber breakfast even on the day that he signed a contract with the Red Sox and had business to attend to in Boston.

This Times Union columnist (curiously with the name of another baseball player on the Hall of Fame ballot) brings up what Rice really feels about his teams back in the 70’€™s and how he keeps everything old school, even his speech for this weekend.

Well no matter how you look at Rice, it seems that everyone has an opinion. I think David Letterman was trying to cast him in a bright light as he told this curious story:


Fenway honors for Cape League bombers

07.24.09 at 9:52 am ET
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Summer after summer of his own elite baseball training camps have led up to a summer job teaching 10-year olds how to field ground balls. Not exactly what Zack Cox had in mind for this summer, but then again that’s only his side job.

Cox, an All-Star third baseman for the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League, achieved the childhood dream of many on Thursday night by playing at Fenway Park in the Cape Cod League All-Star Game.

“This is definitely burned in there,” Cox said of his Cape League memories. “Playing at Fenway Park, I don’t anything will top this, I don’t think anything can top getting to play at Fenway Park. Even if it was just for four-and-a-half minutes.”

Those four-and-a-half minutes were important for the West as Cox, Co-MVP of the game, led the West Division to a 3-0 win over the East. The University of Arkansas product started and batted second for the West, helping to score the first run of the game with a triple off the center field wall to drive in Falmouth’s Todd Cunningham in the bottom of the  first. Cox came in to score later that inning and added his second RBI of the game with a single to left field in the bottom of the second.

Cox’s Co-MVP Chris Sale, of the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, pitched six pitches of scorless relief for the East. Sale, from Florida Gulf Coast, was similarly awestruck at the opportunity to pitch at Fenway, noting that pitching in front of his family in a major-league park was nervewracking.

“First off it was a great experience coming to Fenway Park,” Sale said. “That’s a once in a lifetime thing unless you make it to the major leagues. As far as coming out here and shagging B.P. in the outfield and watching balls go in and out in the Home Run Derby, it was awesome. Almost like it didn’t happen. Like it didn’t happen like I’m going to wake up soon from this.”

Sale reached 95 MPH on the radar gun and is expected to go high in the draft next spring along with Cox. Cox’ success with the wooden bat was perhaps most impressive. He leads the Kettleers with a .364 average through 16 games and is tied for third on the team with nine RBI since arriving late to the team because of Arkansas’ competition in the College World Series. He credits his dad for making him use wood when he was younger during practice.

The importance of practice for youngsters rubbed off on Cox who, in between morning workouts and night games, helps coach six to 12-year olds at the Cape Cod League camps. Cox works in the ground ball station teaching the kids the basic fundamentals of the game in hopes they, too, can make it Fenway for a Cape League All-Star game someday.

While Cox’s preference for the wood was engrained (no pun intended) in him as a child, some of his fellow Cape Leaguers didn’t have the same advantage. Those who participated in the Home Run Derby were stymied by the heavier, denser bats with the lack of pop for which the aluminum bats are known. Harwich’s Connor Powers won the derby with two blasts in the final round to edge out Cotuit’s Stanley Rupp after they each had three in the first round.

“Having a Home Run Derby with aluminum bats is amazing,” Derby participant Harold Martinez of the Brewster Whitecaps said. “That would be crazy [at Fenway]. Wood bats, though, that’s real baseball, but it’s always fun to have real wood.”

Either way Cox, Martinez and the rest of the All-Stars last night saw a glimpse of what their futures could be like roaming the field and dugouts at Fenway.

“This is obviously a big step towards professional baseball for me,” Cox said. “It’s a league where you come in with the best college players and play with a wood bat and it’s been awfully fun making that adjustment and playing with these guys.”

DJ Bean contributed to this report.

Read More: Cape Cod, cape league, chris sale, connor powers

Goodell vs. Vick Round One

07.23.09 at 10:30 am ET
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The last time Michael Vick threw a touchdown pass was Dec. 31, 2006 in a 24-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The seven-yard pass to Warrick Dunn in the first quarter of the last game of the regular season was the last time we would see Vick throw a pass for the next two and a half years.

On Monday, Vick served the last day of his 23-month sentence, the last two through home confinement, for dogfighting charges. The ankle bracelet was removed and the media world swarmed in anticipation of his next step.

That next step came Wednesday when we learned Vick will meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell later this week to discuss his conditional reinstatement to the league conveniently just in time for NFL training camps which begins next week.

With PETA peering down Goodell’s neck hoping for a psychological examination before the reinstatement, the commissioner has a lot to consider.  While Goodell has heard from animal rights activists that met with Vick during his sentencing many are still not convinced of his remorse.

Goodell’s speculated that Thursday or Friday session with Vick should get the ball rolling for the ex-Atlanta Falcons quarterback. Assuming all goes well, the indefinite suspension on Vick will be lifted and he will be conditionally reinstated, meaning if signed with a team he could participate in training camp. Yet Goodell will need to make a conclusive reinstatment or a defined suspension period before September 1 when NFL rosters must be finalized.

The bigger question floating around the sports world is who will take Vick?

The quarterback has only been able to throw around a football in his backyard the past two months under home confinement, and by most accounts, is not NFL ready. While he reportedly hired and worked out today with Tom Shaw, a performance trainer who has trained Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in the past, Vick has a lot of work to do in little time.

The Jets and Giants have already publicly ruled themselves out of the picture. The Raiders’ may have been a viable option — but dog lover’s in their front office may have other opinions. The Patriots have also been on the radar. Bill Belichick may be the best to handle the baggage that comes along with Vick, yet also has his hands full Brady making his own comeback.