YouGabSports Blogs
Sunday Musings #156
Category: User Showcase
Tags: YouthSports NFL BostonCollegeWomensBasketball MLB WNBA NewYorkLiberty WarehamGatemen

 

 

While ticked off that the car brakes went out on me on Wednesday but tickled pink because the rest of the week was a series of awesomness that I haven't experienced in quite a while. Yes, overall I had a GREAT week...

 

YOUTH SPORTS FOLLOW UP

My friend Brian attended the wake for our mutual former player Ryan last week. He told me that another player caught up to him after he left the building and told him how much Ryan thought of Brian as a coach and from playing for him. Kind of a nice thing to be told despite the sad circumstances that led to the information being given.

MLB ALL-STAR GAME

While my mother watched the All-Star Game this week, I ended up skipping it. But I caught the highlights. I have to say that if Adam Wainwright grooved the pitches to Derek Jeter, he didn't honor Jeter, he dishonored both the player and the game.

As a Red Sox fan, I fully wrap myself in the sports hatred of the Yankees. But I've always thought Jeter carried himself with a huge degree of class. A role model of the game. So his departure from the game will be a big loss.

And while seeing him get a hit in his final All-Star appearance was something any appreciative baseball fan would want to happen, knowing that it was basically served up to him cheapens those hits in my mind. That's not a knock on Jeter, but rather an insult to Wainwright.

I know he tried to back off his statements, but no one really believes his retraction do they?

WNBA

Thanks to a Cappie Pondexter (pictured below) game winning shot with 0.4 seconds left in the game, the New York Liberty hit the All-Star break with a 77-75 victory over the Atlanta Dream. They are 8-13 on the season.

By the way, Pondexter was selected as a starter for the All-Star Game while another Liberty player Tina Charles was added to the squad as a reserve.

Oh and no WNBA subsection here at Sunday Musings would be complete without some form of mention of Katie Smith, this week brought another of the WNBA trading cards that she is featured on into my collection. This time it was the 2006 League Leaders in Free Throw Pct%.

NFL

The MMQB.com had a lengthy article this past Wednesday on former Packers and Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren as he finds his way into retirement. You can check it out HERE.

BOSTON COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

While the team continues their offseason preparations, which you can get updates from all over their Facebook and Twitter pages, you can get to know soon to be sophomore Emilee Daley (pictured below) via this interview.

COLLEGE BASEBALL SUMMER LEAGUE

This past Monday evening I ended up at the Wareham Gatemen game against the Brewster Whitecaps. It was a home game for Wareham in their Cape Cod Baseball League schedule. Unfortunately, despite a close game, the Gatemen ended up losing 3-2.

I was there because I was having a mini reunion of sorts with a friend of mine from high school. I haven't actually seen Rachael since her graduation party 25 years ago. We reconnected via Facebook and when she told me she'd be here for a week we made plans to meet up. It was great to see her and meet her husband and kids. I also met (or met all over again as the case may be) one of Rachael's best friends, Julie. All in all, just a good way for a week to go where I wasn't totally glued to the TV. It was almost like I had a "real" life or something.

Here's a photo of the group of us at the game:

From R-L: Julie, Rachael, Nick (Rachael's husband) and me. Julie's daughter Sydney is in front of her mother. 

MISCELLANEOUS

TV - The lights out fantastic season finale of 24: Live Another Day aired on Monday night. You can read my rather extensive recap of the episode HERE.

For those of you who might be a fan of the Showtime series Homeland, the first look trailer for Season 4 is below.

And let us not forget that the new season of Doctor Who starts August 23rd. You can check out the first trailer for the new season below.

Comics - The world's largest comic convention, the San Diego Comic Con, is being held next week. There's bound to be a ton of huge announcements in relation to comics, movies, TV and gaming.  

Movies - On Thursday, I logged into my Twitter account (don't forget to follow me @TheOneTrueJay) and I had received a message from the guy who sent me that book I Am Pilgrim to review. It turns out they have now signed a deal to make the book into a movie. I'm psyched about that! And the fact that the guy took the time to keep me in the loop about it. You can read the article about the movie announcement HERE.

Also, I watched the documentary film Life Itself last week. It is about the life and career of film critic Roger Ebert. While parts of it were tough to watch, overall this was a fantastic look at the good and bad of Ebert, pretty much the only movie critic I relied on to form at least a basic foundation on whether or not I was going to see a movie.

Books - Speaking of prose storytelling, this week conspired against me in regards to completing any books. But yesterday afternoon as I made my appointed rounds, I ended up picking up the brand new Daniel Silva hardcover The Heist. It is the latest in his Gabriel Allon series. While I typically don't buy hardcovers, when it comes to this series, I tend to grab the book when it hits the shelves because invariably I'lll find myself immersed in a story do deeply I don't want to put the book down.

Music - Ever wonder what became of the woman who played the title role in the video for the Night Ranger song "Sister Christian"? Well, someone tracked her down and you can read this article to find out.

Rat Pak Records will be releasing the first solo album from Cinderella guitarist Jeff LaBar in August. The CD is called One For The Road. You can check out the video for the song "No Strings" below.

Oh and "Weird Al" Yankovic has a new parody video out called "Word Crimes". You can check it out below.

Oh No Johnny
Category: FEATURED

 

What do you write about for sports on July 20? Let's see... tennis? Nah. Bicycle racing? I think not. Baseball? That won't get interesting for a while yet. Hockey? Gone. Basketball? If you want to write about LeBron, be my guest. NASCAR? I don't know much about it, but we have someone who does. Soccer? I think we've had our fill. What's that leave? Football isn't even in preseason camp yet.

All of this leaves us with dribs and drabs. Stuff like Richard Sherman on Twitter. A reformed Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson playing out his career in Canada. The Rangers suddenly the worst team in baseball. And Johnny Football.... now there's the germ of an idea!

The icon of Texas college ball for the past few years, Johnny Manziel is a newsmaker. Clearly wanting to play pro ball in his home state, he instead slipped enough for the Cleveland Browns to snag him. He rode into town on a white horse, garnering LeBron James like attention from the declining, victory-starved city.

Once the Metropolis of the Western Reserve, now the Mistake by the Lake, Cleveland has seen better times. In the industrially charged postwar era, the city seemed to spawn winners. Bill Veeck came to town and immediately the Indians were in enormous Municipal Stadium, filling it to the brim and winning a pennant and a World Series. Paul Brown, fresh out of WWII tactical planning (something a lot of football coaches did during the war), founded the Browns franchise in the AAFC and drove the NFL Rams (a good team) out of town to a waiting LA. The Browns went to the title game for ten straight years, winning seven, all four in the AAFC and three out of six in the NFL.

Even after Bill Veeck was forced to sell his Indians interests to fund a divorce and leave town, the Indians continued to prosper. The 1954 Yankees won 102 games, more than they had won in any of their prior five seasons, all of them Series winning campaigns --- and finished 9 games behind the Indians who went 111-43. Even when the Tribe and the Brownies weren't winning championships they were elite contenders with big stars.

How things can change. Last year's Indians gave hope for the future though, and the Indians have had a couple of contending runs in the past two decades. The Browns were contenders too --- until they weren't the Browns anymore. The Ravens have continued to win at a decent pace, but few in Cleveland care.

Give them credit. The city managed to pressure the stone cold NFL into getting them a new team, one replete with all the paperwork to make them appear a continuation of the departed heroes.

One problem: so far they're not, and it's been a while. A couple of times they've risen with a promising season, only to inexplicably sink back into the quagmire. Few teams have had such a wealth of picks in the draft year after year. Most have been squandered.

Front office and coaching chaos have played the major role. Drafts have been the brain child of a different regime marching to a different drummer over and over. This year's was the first of the latest such regime, as the incompetent Holmgren organization faded away finally. Remember them? They traded UP from 4th to 3rd to get Trent Richardson. This year, the new guys got Johnny.

To be sure, the Browns drafted plenty more. And to be sure, they've been in need of a franchise quarterback since day one of the great reawakening. Brian Hoyer may have been the best-looking thing they saw for a long time, but he played about six quarters of football before the tidal wave of pass rushers finally ran him down. No wonder Manziel was welcomed.

But Manziel's triumphant entry into the city wasn't without its flaws. Media types proclaimed him arrogant for not cueing into their leading questions. The Browns instantly began a campaign to quell enthusiasm by proclaiming from the highest team sources that he wasn't the starter, nor deserved to be from his workout performances. All of it rolled off him seemingly, perhaps a sign that the kid had the stuff to shrug off the torrent of attention, good and bad, that follows him. Or not.

More recent weeks have seen the media opining on his choice of weekend venues. Seems all that money has him in Vegas a lot. But the media opining has generally been of the 'so what, let him enjoy himself for a while' bent. What's so bad about a kid (and he is a kid) wanting to splurge a little before getting down to business?

No one comes to mind more in all this than Joe Namath, the Alabama whiz who took the pro football world by storm by signing with the recently-renamed Jets for then-absurd money after the 1964 college football season. He liked to party, and immediately became Broadway Joe. Was he shy? Nope. Flamboyant? Yup. Good? You bet he was.

There's the rub. Namath was a true can't-miss, and even he spent a couple of seasons with training wheels on. No quarterback in this year's draft is a can't miss. The past several drafts had been inundated with can't-misses. How're they doing?

Wilson and Kaepernick are doing ok out west. Luck has been a Godsend for a dismantled Colts powerhouse. The rest?

Newton finally had a winning season, and did it by sublimating the idiot 'Superman' routine in favor of managing his team. But when the playoffs came around Superman returned and ate kryptonite. Sam Bradford and the Rams have had ups and downs so far, mostly downs. Tannehill looks good in Miami. Then he doesn't. Guys like Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert... fading away. Griffin was dynamic his first season, used his legs like he was at Baylor, and got crushed. Last year he was a shadow of his former self. Geno Smith? EJ Manuel? Others? Many of these guys would be on the practice squad if not for the high picks spent on them.

Is Johnny different? Maybe. His college heroics seem to show that certain something everyone, especially Cleveland, wants. Those intangibles. That winning way.

How good he is will uniquely determine how long he lasts in the NFL, though. Namath was very very good and knew it. That attitude spawns not just adoration but revulsion, and he had legions of non-fans waiting for him to slip up. Once he was no longer at the top of his game, mostly by virtue of the knees he'd ruined scrambling at Bama, he was a goner. But it took Namath years to burn his political capital. Johnny has been torching his from day one.

It's a different world. Namath was hounded by cameras, but most of them were huge affairs carried by professionals. If someone on the street managed to snap a Kodak, it wasn't just a matter of emailing it to the local scandal sheet.

Today, every Tom, Dick and Harriet is armed with an HD videocam, an HD still cam, and a sound recorder. They're called 'software apps', and all fit into a pocket. Ah, the wonders of the microprocessor and its peripherals. And you can bet, with someone as allergic to anonymity as Manziel, that everywhere he goes he has several dozen of the things aimed at him.

How then does somebody already roundly criticized for hanging out in Vegas instead of cramming for his pro football career (hardly a trivial matter these days, especially for a quarterback), manage to get himself videoed rolling up a $20 in a public restroom? All of that 'so what, give the kid a break' sports media wagon-circling just went out the window.

The past week has been full of condescending commentary about proof, fairness... you name it. And there's nothing illegal about rolling up a twenty. But unless you're from a much older generation (even that's a maybe), there's not much doubt about what that means 99.9% of the time. And it's not origami.

What he was clearly doing is disturbing enough to an employer paying millions (to an athlete no less). But what is just as disturbing is the stupidity required to do such a thing, even if it was just rolling up a bill (which it wasn't). In front of others? With smartphones? Who instantly publicized the scene? "Manziel Snorts Up" is news on the calibre of "Man Bites Dog."

NFL damage control will try to hold this down, and has been doing so with moderate success. But sheez, Louise, those counting on a dedicated team contributor (if not much more) for all that money must be having second thoughts.... like maybe, "how often does he do this when there's no camera around?" or "is this guy capable of thinking at all?" Perhaps "is his health in question?"

I was on this guy's bandwagon as a pick for the Texans, his natural landing spot. It is telling to me that Houston passed him up (for a defensive end?) despite having traded their veteran quarterback to Oakland. I don't think their plan was to bring in Ryan Fitzpatrick to replace Matt Schaub. I doubt that plan A for the team that couldn't score last year was to get another bookend to go with JJ Watt. That smells like Plan B --- get the best player available. I also don't think the plan was to just hand the keys to Case Keenum.

I have a feeling they may have found something out about Johnny that confirmed their worst suspicions at some point, and acted accordingly. Hopefully it wasn't what it sure looks like.

Golf for Breakfast, Anyone? Anyone?
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: British Open Tiger Rory McIlroy

I have to apologize for not publishing last Saturday - I was in a remote location that was supposed to have Internet but it turned out to be DSL and bad DSL at that.  Hopefully with football season just around the corner, my travels will not include further Internet connectivity issues.

So we cannot have a discussion about Golf without talking about Tiger Woods.  Every time Tiger steps on to the golf course, it is news.  Whether it is because he is a compelling story, a compelling train wreck or some combination of the two. I can't say but especially with major championships, it becomes All Tiger All of the Time coverage.  I have to admit to following the train wreck angle yesterday as a promising opening round devolved into what has become typical Tiger championship golf...he just unravels.  One has to wonder if Tiger realizes that he does not have the game to compete with the dominant young players who are emerging on the game today.   Back in the day when Tiger was Great, his mere presence caused the competition to wilt, yielding titles with barely a whimper.  Those days are over.  While I do think Tiger will press on with his quest to catch Jack Nicklaus' major record - and he may even win one or two more - he will be more of a celebrity golfer than a tour d'force on the course.  Seeing this pose again in my mind is unlikely...

 

Weekly Grumble with IHM 7/19
Category: FEATURED

 

  Well folks, it’s that special time of the week again… time for another grumble with your old pal IHM. Been a pretty dull week in sports… the All-Star game was Tuesday, meaning that Monday, Wednesday and Thursday were void of any actual sports! It was a pretty crazy week for us; we made a major life decision and had to break the news to family and friends, then Thursday we had to take the boy down to Detroit to take care of some dental issues he has.

  Mrs. IHM and I have been contemplating a major move for some time now; leaving the state of Michigan and it’s astronomical cost of living for somewhere cleaner, greener, and much, much quieter. Over the 4th of July weekend, we took a trip down to Akron, Ohio then further down to Lancaster, Ohio, to go visit with family, with a family reunion in Lancaster planned for Sunday. This was as much a scouting trip as it was a trip to visit family. After some consideration, we’ve settled on Lancaster… so right now we’re working on getting our house listed, finding a rental down in Lancaster, and getting all our stuff boxed up and ready to move four hours or so south!

  The biggest perks in moving down to Lancaster have to be the services Ohio offers for Autistic children compared to Michigan. My son will receive an additional two hours of therapies per week through the Forest Rose Academy that is a public school option in Lancaster, plus ABA therapy that is not offered at all in Michigan currently. It also puts us a whole lot closer to doing what the wife and I have long dreamed of doing… starting a family farm and becoming a lot more self-sufficient. It is going to be a crazy month or two coming up, but it will all be well worth it once everything comes together!

  As for our adventure in Detroit… that was one hell of an ordeal! My boy, as you all know, has Autism. This makes it damn near impossible to do any sort of dental procedure on him (even brushing his teeth in the morning and at night is a real bitch!)… so in order to be able to do anything, they have to put him under. The only freaking dental office in this part of Michigan that is willing to do it is downtown… so we had to make an appointment two months ago (yeah, they were booked THAT far in advance), and finally the day arrived this week. Once he was finally K.O.’ed, they got his cleaning and cavity check done, and they marveled at how good his teeth were compared to other Autistic kids they’d seen at their office. That was a solid win for me and Mrs. IHM!

   On the ride home, the boy was still knocked out! We got him home at around three… and then he passed out on the couch for another two hours until we finally were able to wake him up for dinner. He ate like a champ, though, and then decided to pass back out at nine! The wife told me I should head out and hang out with some buddies since we are leaving state in a short while, so I went out drinking and she went to bed having to work in the morning. Around midnight, drunk off my ass, I get a text from her telling me the boy is up! FUCK! So I sobered the hell up as much as possible and got my ass home. Sitting around with an 8 year old while you’re still pretty buzzed from 12:30 until what turned out to be 4:30 turned out being a bigger ordeal than the dental appointment was! So, I finally dragged my drunken ass up to bed at around quarter to five… and the boy woke up for the day at quarter to eight! Right now, I’m running on freaking fumes!

   I had a solid rant prepared for what happened at the All-Star game Tuesday (more so about what DIDN’T happen there)… but Hal did one hell of a job talking about it in his Friday Featured Blog.http://yougabsports.com/pt/Sports-Friday-with-Hal-All-StarI-mean-just-one-specific-star-Week.7-17-2014/blog.htm

   So, that said, I will rant about something else that annoys the hell out of me about baseball’s mid-summer classic… the fact that it determines home-field advantage for the World Series! Absolute stupidity… and all to make up for the fact that the asshat commissioner called an All-Star game after 12 innings a decade or so ago. We’re over it, Selig! Stop the madness. Go back to the team with the best record getting home field advantage… which in baseball is a very big deal, especially interleague baseball. I know we have a few “purists” among us, but I really have to ask… does anybody out there still oppose using a designated hitter instead of having scrawny little pitchers up at the plate 3-4 times per game? For me, I’d rather see an actual hitter with a better than 15% chance at bat. But, it makes a big difference in the way a game is managed, and it is not the kind of thing that should be determined by a fucking exhibition game! Stop the fucking madness, Bud… you done fucked up a decade ago, now stop punishing everyone for your own stupidity!

  The regular season for baseball resumes Friday night, and the second half is officially underway. I’m with Ol’ Harry… the All-Star game signifies the halfway point of the baseball season, not any certain number of games. It looks like we’ll have some pretty solid races the rest of the way.

  The AL East looks like a two-team race unless the Yankees or Sawx make a big move sometime soon. The Yankees are without Sabathia and likely Tanaka for the rest of the season now, and the Sawx are just having an awful time of it as defending champs. The Orioles lead the way as of today with the Blue Jays nipping at their heels. I’ll pick the Orioles here, but I could see the Jays snagging a Wild Card spot, especially if Encarnacion comes back with a vengeance late.

  The AL Central looks like it is Detroit’s to lose. They really have to hope Joe Nathan wakes the fuck up and takes care of his business as closer… otherwise DD better get his ass on the phone and get something done before July 31st. The Royals have been solid this year, as have the Indians, with both teams hovering around .500. Even the White Sox seem to be in the running for second place with Jose Abreu making the leap to the Majors pretty well, leading baseball in home runs at this point. The Twins shouldn’t be much of a problem from here on out.

  The AL West is more or less a three team race now. The Rangers have lost 4/5ths of their starting rotation, with Yu Darvish the only initial starter left standing right now. The Astros looked solid for a while there, but not even mighty mite Jose Altuve can get this team on the winning track. The Oakland A’s improved their lot with the deal they made with the Cubs, and now that the Braves have cut loose 2B Dan Uggla, they might consider adding him to add some punch at that position. The Angels with perennial MVP candidate Mike Trout are right behind them after playing some impressive June/July baseball, and the Mariners are still Wild Card contenders as well. I’ll take the A’s to win it and the Angels to snag the other Wild Card.

   The NL East is anyone’s guess… the Nats and Braves are neck and neck, and the Mets, Marlins, and Phillies are all at least seven games out. I say the Nats hold on to the top spot by virtue of starting pitching, but the Braves should contend for a Wild Card spot.

  The NL Central is a cluster fuck as usual! Milwaukee is still on top by a game… with St.Louis, Cincy, and Pittsburgh right on their ass. You have to wonder if the Cardinals have anything in them with Yadi Molina likely out the rest of the season now. This might just open the door for another Pittsburgh run. I know that’s who I’m rooting for! As usual, the Cubs are irrelevant!

  In the NL West, the Dodgers have taken advantage of a terrible June/July out of the Giants and taken the division lead at the break. The Padres, Rockies, and Diamondbacks are all at least 12 games out, and will all be sellers at the trade deadline. I’ll take the Dodgers to win the division and the Giants to take the second Wild Card spot.

  As for the World Series this year, I’ll go with a Nationals-A’s World Series matchup… with the A’s taking it 4-2. Billy Beane finally gets his ring.

  Mike Trout will finally get his MVP award in the AL, and Cutch wins it yet again in the NL. I’ll go with King Felix for the AL Cy Young and Johnny Cueto in the NL.

  Bad news for Astros fans, as the team was unable to reach a deal with #1 overall pick Brady Aiken before the 5PM Friday deadline. He’ll attend college instead, playing for UCLA next year.

  If you hurry, you might be able to vote still as for which number the King will use in Cleveland for his second tour of duty… unfortunately, I don’t give a shit isn’t an option!

  Floyd Mayweather, Jr. finally did something fairly entertaining the other day. When asked about a quote from man beast and MMA women’s champion Rhonda Rousey that boasted she would “hurt him bad”, Money Mayweather simply said “Never heard of him”. Seriously… somebody check that roided out freak for a pair of naughty nuggets already!

  Former Pacer Lance Stephenson doesn’t want to be defined as an “ear blower”, despite his blatantly homoerotic display of ear blowing during the playoffs while the Pacers faced the Heat. Here’s an idea dumb fuck… if you don’t want to be defined as an “ear blower”, don’t blow in grown men’s ears on national television. I hope you are a major bust in Charlotte!

  That’s all I’ve got for today ladies and gents! Thanks, as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. Have a great weekend, Gabbers.

Sports Friday with Hal: All-Star...I mean just one specific star Week
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB baseball All-star game Tony Gwynn Derek Jeter Soccer world cup

I was fortunate to be in Rio for the World Cup Final between Argentina and Germany...no, not Brazil, but the next best thing: Rio Brazilian Steakhouse in America’s Hometown (Plymouth, MA). Footy on the telly with a rambunctious crowd of local Brazilian transplants lustily rooting against Germany welcomed me in my Argentine Lionel Messi Argentine national team jersey in cheering for--as they explained to me--”anyone but Germany” to win the cup (Germany beat the crap out of the host country 7-1 earlier in the tourney to bounce them).

 

Great fun for us even though Germany won (no real surprise--great team) but much and many meats later I was happily in a meat coma and not concerned about the outcome.  Great time an great end to the World Cup.

 

* * *

 

Ahh, the MLB All-Star Game.

 

Ralph Kiner

Don Zimmer

Tony Gwynn

Bob Welch

Frank Cashen

Jim Fregosi

Jerry Coleman

 

Three baseball legends. All three passed away this year. At the 2014 MLB All-Star Game the Fox broadcast tripped all over themselves to praise retiring New York Yankees future Hall-of-Fame shortstop Derek Jeter.  The broadcast team mentioned Jeter’s name over 100 times during the broadcast.

 

Ralph Kiner is a Hall-of-Fame player who led the National League in home runs seven consecutive season was a legend as an announcer as well broadcasting over 50 years.

 

Don Zimmer is probably with Tommy Lasorda as far as an iconic baseball lifer (My post here about Zim’s passing and his impact on my life is here).

 

Tony Gwynn was only 54 and one of the greatest non-steroid using hitters of the steroid era with a .338 career batting average and over 3,000 hits in his career.

 

Bob Welch was a 27 game winner and Cy Young award winner in 1990 who won over 200 games .

 

Frank Cashen was the executive who built the great Baltimore Orioles teams of the 60s and 70s and later the great Mets in 80s.

 

Jim Fregosi played 18 years at shortstop and was a manager of four teams from the late 70s to the new millennium.

 

Jerry Coleman was a Yankees middle infielder who won an MVP award and was a war hero flying missions in WW2 and Korea alongside Ted Williams in the Marines (not playing softball in Hawaii like Joe DiMaggio and countless other MLB players of the era) who later become one of the most renowned and entertaining announcers later gaining entry to the Hall of Fame in that role.

 

Joe Buck and his hideous crew on Fox could not bother to mention, throw up a video, fill space with a comment, flash their pictures at the bottom of the screen, mention them in a break of action. But hold onto your hats, it was all Jeter all-the-time!

 

I take nothing away from Jeter. He amassed 3,000 hits and was a post-season superstar. He brought class to baseball in the steroid/A-Rod era and gave every fan a player to point to as a superstar who carried himself with class and dignity. That said, Fox overplayed their hand with Jeter--had the additional controversy of National League pitcher Adam Wainwright (horrors!) admitted he grooved a couple of batting practice fastballs to him in (wait for it…) a FREAKING EXHIBITION GAME THAT DOES NOT COUNT!

 

Forget the stupid World Series home-field advantage crap. This is not the NFL where 70,000 screaming fans in Seattle can change an offensive game plan. It is baseball. It was an exhibition game. It does not count. It is entertainment.

 

Remember Cal Ripkin Jr.’s final All-Star game? Switching positions with A-Rod (scripted by Joe Torre...A-Rod is not that classy) and then hitting a home run in the third inning. Yeah, pitcher Chan Ho Park was not told to groove a fastball to the legend. Yeah, right.

 

Jeter got his spotlight--as he deserved. But at the expense of baseball greats who could have/should have been mentioned once--hell, Tony Gwynn was a 15 time All-Star and they could not work that in? He died young (in his 50s) just a month ago. He was the greatest player in San Diego Padres history. No one there had time to briefly mention a Hall of Famer who was a contemporary of Jeter and was taken by cancer.  

 

Screw Fox. Screw MLB. No backtracking is good enough now. It was all about Fox not understanding how to capitalize on baseball’s great and extensive history.  Baseball is unique: it’s history and traditions transcend eras. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Ernie Banks, Willie McCovey, Reggie Jackson, Yaz, Dale Murphy, Ryne Sandberg, Cal Ripkin Jr., Jeter, the list goes on and on and on...this is embedded in baseball fans minds and consciousness.

 

Being a baseball fan means embracing that tradition. No one discusses the fascinating 1994 chase for .400 by Gwynn cut short by the strike? How about Jerry Coleman winning the MVP...what a story (no, he did NOT deserve it!)! How about Ralph Kiner mispronouncing his own name as a Mets announcer? Hilarious. Don Zimmer I could go on and on about. Jim Fregosi was one of the funniest, most engaging people in baseball.

 

Not recognizing those who made this career of Jeter’s possible is a shame. Boo to Fox. Boo to MLB.

 

* * *

 

NFL Training Camp is right around the corner. TIme to switch to all-NFL all-the-time very soon.

 

Have a great weekend, all!

 
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