Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. I have to admit that the past year has been an adjustment. After spending years raising kids, this has been the first summer that Julie and I have really not had any kid related activities to worry with. Back in the day, I used to run several times each week. This summer, I decided that I would try to get back into to running to some degree. I have to laugh really, as the first time I headed out…different parts of my body took turns screaming in protest. From experience, I realized that starting slow is very important. Running and walking, I am doing about 30 minutes 3 days each week. The reward for returning home dripping sweat is an immediate plunge in the pool. Each time take that leap…I am reminded of Shoeless Joe Jackson’s line in Field of Dreams…my pool may not be heaven, but it sure beats Iowa.
With the advent of sabre metric thinking in baseball, many teams have begun to use percentages to help their teams win. One of the more obvious changes is how teams align their defense. The shift has been used more this year with success specifically against left handed power hitters. The shift is simply moving one additional infielder to the pull side or right side for a left handed hitter. The more that I see the shift, the clearer it is to me, how to beat it. Hitting the other way or simply laying down a bunt are obvious ways to force defenses out of the shift. This seems very straight forward to me. But, apparently for Colby Lewis…this violates his unwritten baseball rules. Lewis was facing the Blue Jays this week and had two outs in the 5th inning when Colby Rasmus decided to lay a bunt down to beat the shift. Lewis fielded the bunt, but was unable to throw out Rasmus. Lewis became livid with Rasmus and accused him of being “selfish”. After the game, Lewis had this to say…
"I told [Rasmus] I didn't appreciate it. You're up by two runs with two outs and you lay down a bunt. I don't think that's the way the game should be played."
"I felt like you have a situation where there is two outs, you're up two runs, you have gotten a hit earlier in the game off me, we are playing the shift, and he laid down a bunt basically simply for average.”
Say what? Are you freaking kidding me? Toronto had a 2 to 0 lead in the 5th inning. I am not sure what game Lewis is playing, but it is not the game of baseball. I am with down with most of the unwritten baseball rules. For me, it adds a bit of intrigue to the game. Colby Rasmus did not violate an unwritten baseball rule. I doubt that another player in baseball would have had a problem with the Rasmus bunt. Lewis also said that because Rasmus did not try to steal 2nd that it was obvious that the bunt was simply to improve his average. What he did not stop to think about is that the Blue Jays are one of the best power hitting teams in baseball. A base runner means 2 runs if the next hitter goes yard…not to mention that the next base Rasmus steals this year will be his first. The Rangers have had a tough year and with a record of 6 and 7 and an ERA above 6, it is obvious that Lewis is struggling as well. If the truth be known, I suspect that Lewis might be mad that his team employed the shift that allowed Rasmus a freebie. That is the point…hitters should attack the weakness of a defense and bunting against the shift is exactly how to beat the shift.
July is always an interesting month for baseball. As the month comes to an end, the trade deadline approaches. What makes this time of year so appealing to me is that teams must decide if they are buyers or sellers on the season. Last week, the Red Sox and Rays were clearly sellers…until they began to win. Now, team officials have difficult choices. Realistically, both teams must win 70% of the rest of their games to have a chance…possible, but not probable. The Yankees made a deal with the Padres for Chase Headley (I laugh each time I see his name as I think of Harvey Korman in Blazing Saddles). Headley wasted little time in paying dividends for the Yankees, with a game winning hit on Tuesday night. The move sort of surprised me as I figured the Yankees to be sellers this year. I guess after years of always being in the hunt that it is tough to give up on a season. I guess this means that Alex Rodriguez is no longer in the Yankees plans? Yeah…that would be a safe bet.
So, now the angry social media is going after Tony Dungy. Unless you have been deep in the woods, you have probably heard about the recent furor over Dungy’s comments regarding Michael Sam. This very much reminds me of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson’s interview that drew so much negative publicity a few months ago. Robertson’s words were blasted by the liberal media and he was accused of being a racist and hating gays. The truth is that all of the words in Robertson’s interview were not used, but rather carefully plucked to send the message that was desired. If you happened to read the entire article as I did, you would have realized that Robertson is not a racist and speaks primarily about love for this neighbors…gay or not. His thoughts were his opinion, right or wrong…
Tony Dungy was asked if he would draft Michael Sam. His honest answer was no. He said he would prefer not to have “deal with all of it”…now, does this mean that he would not want to deal with having a gay player or simply that he would prefer not to have to deal with the distraction of having Sam on the team? On Tuesday, Dungy clarified his comments. Dungy offered a list of questions and answers to attempt to quell the negative reaction to his pervious comments. Here are the questions that Dungy would have asked:
Does Michael Sam deserve a chance to play in the NFL? Dungy believes that he absolutely does.
Should Sam’s sexual orientation play apart in his talent evaluation? Dungy says no.
Would Dungy have a problem if Michael Sam were a player on his team? Dungy says no.
Had these questions and answers been published in the interview, there would be no discussion about Tony Dungy today. But, the funny thing is…Dungy has been asked about Michael Sam many times in the past three months and his answers have always been the same. The best players should make the team and the best players should be on the field. Isn’t it interesting that the previous comments are ignored and one segment of an interview is spotlighted? I wonder why this is. It is no secret that Tony Dungy is a Christian. Maybe this is a coincidence, but it sure seems that a portion of our society wants to make this about Dungy having an issue with Sam because of his religious beliefs. If you talk to any of Dungy’s former players, they will tell you that he hated distractions. Is this a surprise? Most successful NFL coaches and organizations avoid distraction to the team. Dungy and other coaches must weigh talent against potential distraction. With Michael Sam being drafted in the 7th round, it is a pretty good indication that Sam is viewed as a marginal NFL talent. With a Randy Moss…the talent is worth the distraction.
Each week, it seems that there is something that is blown out of proportion. Some group has their feelings hurt and is up in arms about some supposed mistreatment. When did our country become so sensitive? I suppose that in trying to be a kinder gentler nation, this is a side effect. I really do think that most of the people in our country don’t care one way or the other if someone is gay…I know that I don’t. What is obvious to me is that anyone giving an interview should keep their opinions to themselves…
As much as I love baseball, I do have to admit to beginning to think about football just a bit. Training camps will begin soon, then NFL exhibition games. For all of that, I have to say that one thing has gotten my football juices flowing more than anything else. I read something about a freshman running back at LSU. I started reading other returning LSU running backs talking about this kid and suddenly I was paying attention. I decided to watch the video of the kid in high school and I sat transfixed. Yeah it is high school, but Barry Sanders and Adrian Peterson played high school football once upon a time as well. My eyes tell me this kid is the real deal. Hey…I have had my belly full of SEC success, but I cannot help but get excited about a player like Leonard Fournette. You know what is also exciting? The kid is supposedly polite, sincere and humble. Check him out for yourself:
2012 Highlights as a high school junior
2013 highlights...as a high school senior.
I am not much for taking “selfies” but know that many youngsters are habitual selfie takers. I suppose this is a pretty harmless habit, but sometimes it is just a bad idea…
I wanted to take a moment to remember Robert Newhouse. When I remember my favorite Cowboy teams, Newhouse was one of the guys that I loved to watch. His bruising running style was so honest that I found eyes drawn to him whenever he was on the field. There was a time that I really wanted to be a professional football player, but seeing Newhouse dead at 64 is another reason that I am happy to just be a fan. RIP Robert, you will be missed…
That is all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…
"What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk?" "And after you're real drunk, maybe go down to the public park and stagger around and ask people for money, and then lay down and go to sleep."
"Here's a good thing to do if you go to a party and you don't know anybody: First take out the garbage. Then go around and collect any extra garbage that people might have, like a crumpled napkin, and take that out too. Pretty soon people will want to meet the busy garbage guy. "
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…
Welcome to Wednesday, Gabbers. Halfway through the week and we have baseball back. It’s hot stove time, but there’s very little cooking. The league is waiting to see what might happen with David Price and the Rays, otherwise…you get nothing and you like it.
Meanwhile, all the big news seems to be coming from sports that are out of season.
The chips fell in the NBA when Lebron announced his return. The other free agents have found homes for the most part. No news in LA. Detroit might get rid of Josh Smith if they can get the Kings to bite.
Right now, everyone is looking to see if the Timberwolves will deal Kevin Love. The most talked about destination is Cleveland. If you were the Wolves though, the best destination is the one that will give you the most in return. If I’m a Minny fan, I have no delusions about keeping Love. He pretty much said he’s gone after the season, so you might as well get something for him.
I’m not in a rush, though. The Cavs want him. You have a shot to get Andrew Wiggins maybe. Take your time and see if you can get Wiggins. You’re trading a good youngish player for a rookie with a lot of upside. The longer you can hold out, the better deal you might get from Cleveland. They need Love to placate James. If they won’t play, you still have LA, Chicago, or most of the league.
Over in football, there’s a lot of stupid coming out.
FSU QB Jameis Winston came out at Sec media day to state that he has matured. Forgive me if I prefer to wait and see rather than take his word. The more I hear about this kid…
Southern Methodist University’s head coach June Jones decided that smaller football programs were taking too much attention from the big boys. Jones wants non- power 5 conference schools to play their games in the spring. You know, like the USFL. He, of all people, should know the USFL failed. Also, having these teams around sounds like a good idea for Jones. The more teams for people to focus on, the less people will notice his 5-7 record last season.
Finally, in the NFL, we have to decide whether or not Tony Dungy’s rep has taken a hit. The Tampa Tribune, for some reason, decided to ask former Bucs coach Dungy whether or not he would draft Michael Sam.
Quoth Dungy: "I wouldn't have taken him. Not because I don't believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn't want to deal with all of it.”
On one hand, a few are praising Dungy for telling the truth. He is merely stating his beliefs. Dungy is outspoken in his beliefs on homosexuals. Some think people are making too big a deal out of this.
On the other hand, this is the man who stood up and advocated for Michael Vick. This is a man who came to the league as a QB, but played as a DB because owners and coaches didn’t want to have to deal with a black QB. This is a man who faced people who didn’t want to deal with a black head coach. Dungy was built up as such a righteous man that seeing a quote like this seemingly weakens his work. It seems odd that Dungy has no qualms about redeeming a man who killed dogs, but wants nothing to do with a homosexual man.
Personally, I find it hypocritical. I also find it hypocritical to be too upset with Dungy. His beliefs are what they are. He gave a simple answer. People are never wholly satisfied with such answers. Dungy is going to have a week or so to make this up to some. Camps start soon. Story over.
In the mean time, I’m still watching baseball. The wife and I are tabbed to go see the Tigers play the Pirates at PNC soon. I’m also putting out more teaching applications. I finally have a few days off to do so. I’m pretty hopeful I can at least start subbing soon. I can also get to the gym. I’ve been slacking, but give myself a pass since I have been military pressing mini fridges at work. I am back in the gm so I may one day military press the full size ones. Here’s hoping! Have a great end to your week.
Bride asks Sebastian the Ibis to fill in for her late father...hope the Groom wasnt a FSU or Florida Fan
Greetings from the Hoodwood, where we return to the printed word with the exception of a couple really cool video highlights
The Colbys: Baseball Soap Opera
There are the so-called unwritten rules of baseball, a lot of which I think are pretentious and dumb some make sense sort of. But what went on Saturday between the Rangers and Blue Jays was a bit puzzling, more specifically between Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis and Jays Colby Rasmus. In the 5th inning, Rasmus dropped a two out bunt opposite of a defensive shift that the Rangers had employed. Rasmus beat out the bunt but was the focus of fury from Lewis who could be clearly seen screaming at Rasmus “Swing the bat!” Lewis then went to the press after the game complaining that Rasmus had violated the “unwritten code” Huh? Wait a minute, the Jays were nursing a 2-0 lead and Rasmus was getting a hit by any way he could. Had someone like speedy rookie Billy Hamilton done this, it would have been an expected part of the arsenal but Rasmus doing it was a surprise but it was still a good play. And Lewis came off looking like that much more of a whiny spoiled sport.
5 Foot tall woman bosses American Ninja Warrior qualifying course
Is it cheating?
The football media days for the power conferences in the NCAA are dotted the otherwise sleepy sports months of the summer, the hype and hoopla of the all-powerful SEC, the ACC home of the defending national champs and the imposing presences of the Big Ten and Pac12 conferences. The Big XII (12) conference may be the smallest and weakest of the so-called power five conferences but they have provided some of the bigger headlines. Big XII commish Bob Bowlsby stunned many of the media contiginent by stating that “cheating pays” and that “he doesn’t see it getting any better in the near future” Bowlsby didn’t come right out and name names. But he more or less implied that schools were taking advantage of lax enforcement of NCAA rules. Im not really sure what Bowlsby is trying to prove by making these statements. Anyone that watches college football knows that there is lots and lots of money afoot and that money doesn’t just evaporate. I liken it to the movie Blue Chips where the money and friends of the programs are taking care of players, but the question then gets to who’s getting paid and how much. Im just shocked that someone in Bowlsby’s position would openly speak of “cheating” This may be just another domino to fall in the increasingly shaky house of cards that college football might be in.
NBA: The Big Deal?
Now we wait. The biggest free agent LeBron James has returned to Cleveland. Carmelo Anthony ad Chris Bosh have returned to the original teams in New York and Miami respectively. The free agent market signings are coming through in dribs and drabs but the biggest deal seems to be just waiting to happen. Kevin Love is looking to get out of Minnesota, and he will either by trade or letting his contract run out at the end of this season. The Timberwolves are trying to get as much as they can for their recalcitrant power forward, and are trying to strike the best deal that they can. They are dickering with the Warriors and have an offer of Harrison Barnes and David Lee but are also trying to pry sharpshooting Klay Thompson from them, the other suitor are the suddenly high rolling high profile Cavaliers who with the return of their homegrown superstar in James and are looking to get another big name to boost their fortunes. The Cavs are pondering trading their recently drafted top pick Andrew Wiggins and former #1 Anthony Bennett, the latter is looking more and more like a bust, for Love. The wheeling and dealing is interesting to watch and the speculation is getting more and more rampant. I think that the deal with the Cavs benefits both, but the Cavs seem reluctant to let go of Wiggins who looks to be a cant miss prospect. Though Love has expressed a positive reaction to playing with his former Olympic teammate and sign a longterm deal with Cleveland, the Cavs are hanging back from consummating the deal and the Wolves keep looking like that they are using the Warriors to drive up the bargaining price. This looks like a fascinating soap opera stay tuned.
Speaking of Wiggins: Check this sick dunk
25-year-old German soccer star Mesut Ozil has donated his World Cup prize money – totaling more than $400,000 for winning the tournament – to various charity projects in Brazil. The hefty sum is reportedly going to fund surgeries for 23 Brazilian children.
Stuart Scott’s heartrending speech at the Espy’s, I know that there are many in this collective that don’t like the four letter sports monolith. I tolerate it more than I used to but the ESPY awards aside from the push for the V Foundation is a useless drill though the award for perserverence going to Scott who has been battling cancer. His fight and his quiet determination is admirable and like him being the father of two, I get the inspiration and motivation that he draws from. Cancer sucks, as you well know I lost a dear friend to this awful disease a couple months ago and have several friends who are fighting this now. I do what I can do to support them but in reality have no idea the fight that they face. Scott’s simple yet eloquent speech was poignant, and heartfelt without being cheesy. Here’s to you Stu, keep fighting the good fight.
To MLB and Fox for not honoring the memory of Tony Gwynn during last weeks All-Star game…if not wanting to slight others why not do like they do at the Oscars and have a segment on those Baseball lost…
Dan Uggla…how far has this guy fallen…
Cancer sucks…best wishes to Atlanta Dream and former Laker Michael Cooper who is battling cancer of the tongue.
Even the best of men can shoot off their mouths, Coach Dungy? Really?
The Ol' Ball Coach cant help but dig at Dabo but how many BCS games have the 'Cocks been too? (Ill give you a hint, my beloved Bearcats who have been to two more than South Carolina...)
If Sterling stays in LA, look for the biggest mass exodus from a team since the old Padres fire sales.
Have you started prepping for your fantasy drafts yet?
That’s the view from the Hoodwood, until next post fellow sports fans!
I want to thank Beeze for allowing me to add another blog on Monday. I have so much stirring in my mind that I want to get off my chest before I leave town. Like Jerry Reed sings in “Smokey and the Bandit”, we’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there, so let’s get this party started:
Before I start though, I do ask for one thing, your prayers. My nephew and his girlfriend were expecting their third child and she was 23 weeks pregnant. Suddenly Sunday Faith arrived in the world. Faith weighed one pound seven ounces and she is still fighting for life and was rushed to the specialty unit here in Sacramento. Faith, you keep fighting girl, you hear me? Your obnoxious Uncle B.O.B. wants to meet you come Christmas time, and if we’re truly lucky at Thanksgiving! That will be my Christmas present. I don’t need nothing else.
Props? To ESPiN??? ESPN announced that they have entered into partnership to cover the 2015 Special Olympics in LA, and I think that’s absolutely FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC. I hope to be able to catch it.
Props? To ESPiN #2??? 21 years ago I was moved by Jimmy V’s speech. I mean, who wasn’t??? Classic lines, lots of laughs, and good advice. In case you forgot:
And Wednesday, I became moved yet again. This time it was Stuart Scott who moved me. I knew he was fighting, but I didn’t know it was that bad. Stuart, PLEASE KEEP FIGHTING, MOST OF ALL WIN! Here is the video link if you're interested in Scott's speech: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11225895 . I watch Jimmy V, Robin Roberts, Stuart Scott, & my father all those years ago and my Mother in Law. I marvel at their strength, courage, grace, positivity, resilience, & determination. You want to talk about role models?
Baseball. Mike and Mike, ESPiN, and Bud Selig bristled at the mere mention of a comment made by some union mouthpiece about Baseball being a “regional” sport. Take a look at this and you tell me:
Can we cut the “we’re not regional” crap? It's about money that just happens to be in the NYC, LA, St. Louis, and Boston areas. Yet In 2014 out of potentially 30 teams in the league, 16 can’t get a sniff of playing on Sunday Night, including arguably one of the best and most exciting teams right now, the Oakland A’s? A two time defending Division Champ with SIX all-stars and the two-time defending HR Derby champ, and this team can’t play once on Sunday Night, yet you can show the Yankees and Dead (err, Red) Sox FIVE times? What about SunTzu’s Washington Nationals? B-dub’s Braves only once? Kyle’s Blue Jays? AFD’s new home Pittsburgh? Who gets to watch King Felix pitch outside of MLB Network (which a lot of folks don’t get)?
OK, OK, enough ranting...on to real Baseball, sorta. Did you catch 105 year old Great-Granny's act in San Diego down at PETCO Sunday throwing out the first ball? How freaking cool was that? MLBMemes did, and thanks to them for this:
Yet another thing to be truly inspired by!!!
But then we get to this:
Seattle She-hawks. She-hawk LB Bobby Wagner said the Denver Donkeys “…looked scared out there. Nobody wanted to catch the ball. Nobody wanted to come up the middle.” WELL NO SHIT!!! Everybody knew Denver was a finesse team. Could the table have been more perfectly set for ya?
When Seattle didn’t get away with excessive holding and contact beyond five yards they were a very average defense and Dick Sherman nowhere near lives up to his hype when refs call it straight. Speaking of Dick, I don’t normally advocate this, but can somebody step up and sacrifice 15 yards on the very first play he grabs them by going all Deacon Jones upside his helmet? Anybody ever notice that when somebody gets in Dick’s face he backs down like a little bitch? Hey Dick, you’re yapping is getting tired. And Dick, shut up, Russell Wilson and Skittles man bailed out your team far more than you did – douche.
Good Lord and I thought Deion Sanders was bad…Seattle wins because they get in folks domes by talking junk. Teams are beaten before they ever get onto the field - and that’s more of an indictment on coaching league wide then a testament to Seattle’s “greatness.”
Golf (British Open). Rory McIlroy went wire to wire and took the Claret Jug. Can we now have a discussion about Tiger and Phil passing the torch? Wake up PGA, you’ve got great golf out there.
Golf – Celebrity Pro Am at Lake Tahoe. Middle B.O.B. has got guts and a toughness to her. She had her four wisdom teeth yanked Friday, but that didn’t stop her and her boyfriend from making the trek up to Tahoe just hours later to see the celebrity pro-am. She got to see Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Larry the Cable Guy and Ray Romano.
Remember I referred to being inspired? Chad Pfiefer is a wounded warrior who lost his leg above the knee in Iraq, and look what this dude is doing: he was in the final grouping of the final round w/Mark Rypien and Jeremy Roenick. I absolutely love stuff like this. It 100% motivates me. If I can’t get pumped up to ramp up the workouts, I have no soul.
The Gym. Speaking of being inspired, I walk into my gym and marvel at the old folks at my gym who come in religiously and bust their asses on the treadmills then move on to the weights. Hell, I’ve watched some 80-plus year old going flat out balls to the wall. Same with 76 year old Mama B.O.B. down in South Florida. There ain’t no way I can half-ass it out there, I’d be too embarrassed.
Tour De France. For whatever reason, I find this bike race compelling. These guys covering this much ground in all different types of weather, terrain, inclines, declines, speeds, and types of surface of road is incredible. Mix in the unprecedented amount of wipe outs and how many favorites got knocked out early because of it, and it’s actually pretty compelling.
Jerry’s Midwest Tour. Apparently Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas, Padre Island, OKC, and KC in 2014 weren’t enough, this dude spent his final free weekend in the Midwest with his buddies taking a roadie across state to Mount Rushmore to go camping and gambling. For those who haven’t been there, it’s so much more than just the mountain, the Crazy Horse monument is making progress, Casinos have been put in at Deadwood, camping is everywhere, Sturgis is very close, and it’s a pretty cool place to hang, oh and in Summer, the weather is fantastic.
Uncle B.O.B.’s World Tour Stop #4. It begins Saturday at 7AM. And while sports will figure prominently, so does BBQ, so there has been a step up in the workouts prior to leaving. I hope that I can keep my phone properly charged throughout and get lots of pics – that is certainly the intent.
Douchebag of the Week. Controversy has erupted up in Lake Tahoe when the Celebrity/Athlete Pro Am invited LPGA Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam to participate in the tourney this year. WTF is this? Sterling Sharpe was whining about this and there are rumors others are too. Shut up you sissies, the Tahoe tournament is nothing more than a fun weekend for charity, don't be taking this seriously. Now step up and accept this award that you so richly deserve...