YouGabSports Blogs
Deep Thoughts 3-28-2012
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB opening day/ Dodgers get Magic touch NBA pro floppers

 

 

Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. I hope your hump day finds you in good spirits, I am happy because today is the start of baseball season, but I am suddenly wondering why the games are in Japan? I am cool with the World baseball idea, but it seems to me that the regular season should be played in the US. It is no secret that Ichiro has a huge Japanese following, but so what? How about we have a few exhibition games prior to the regular season? I get that these games will benefit the earthquake and tsunami victims, but wouldn't a couple of exhibition games serve the same purpose? I have been to Japan and remember flying all day to get there only to have my days become nights and vice versa. I was 18 years old at the time and had no problem quickly adjusting, but I wonder how this will affect the players start to a season? Jet lag is a bitch, especially when you are 30 something...right Ichiro?

 

 

 

 

 

Since we are on the west coast, I might as well mention that Magic Johnson's "group" has agreed to pay Frank McCourt 2.15 billion dollars to buy the Dodgers. As badly as McCourt screwed things up in LA, it hardly seems fair for him to get paid. I know that he won't get all of this money, but you can live pretty well with whatever he ends up with. So, if I have the facts right...McCourt bought the Dodgers for $430 million in 2004. If memory serves me, McCourt financed much of the $430 million that he paid for the Dodgers. During his eight year rein, he spent gobs of money on his family, finally landing the Dodgers in bankruptcy. Now he gets $2.15 billion? What a schmuck...

Of course just because Magic Johnson was the magic man on a basketball court does not mean that he knows a rosin bag from eye black. There is however, one thing that I have observed about Magic Johnson; he likes to win. Johnson did not put up most of the jack for the Dodgers. Magic brought in a firm called Guggenheim Baseball Partners to do the heavy financial lifting. Baseball operations will be handled by Stan Kasten. Do you recognize this name? He has previously worked as president of the Braves and Nationals. Magic Johnson will play the role that he does very well. He will play nice with the media and smile when his Dodgers hit the field. He will sit behind home plate and do what McCourt should have been doing all along...give the Dodger fans a team to be proud of.

As a baseball fan, I am happy that Frank McCourt is no longer in the game. But, the thought of him walking with $2.15 billion turns my stomach.

 

 

 That is some expensive magic that Erwin has brought to the Dodgers...

 

 



 

 

BOB, brought up a very interesting topic in his Tuesday rant. He posted a video of Blake Griffin getting body checked into the baseline reporters. While the foul was clearly blatant and over the top. I am pretty sure that BOB's point was that Griffin's crash was an exaggerated fall, or flop if you will. I think that most fan's agree that flopping is just wrong, but if you are a player is it wrong? In baseball, players feign a successful catch or tag. Derek Jeter famously faked being hit by a pitch last year...remember that one? The opposing manager yelled and kicked up a fuss, but the next day more or less said it was part of the game. Football is a game of deception, sometimes the refs call it sometimes they do not. Basketball is a game of space. If you have established your space another player cannot force you out of it, so flopping is born. I agree with BOB, the truly great players have no need to flop, which I think is fair. But for the Manu Ginobli's of the world, is flopping a necessary resource that allows them to exist? Here is some humorous video of some great flopping. What does a ref do when both players flop? Enjoy...

 

 

That Dirk must have some bad BO... 

 



 

 

 

 

 

With the start of baseball season, many of us have begun the fantasy baseball season. Of all the fantasy games I have ever played, baseball is far and away the best game for fantasy. A game of numbers, there are categories that can be tweaked to make each league a bit different. I have always loved baseball, but the fantasy game has expanded my familiarity with many players. Prospects, and small market teams that I would have never cared about are suddenly important to me. As a fan, it has been great. I know that some will say that the game reduces their interest in their favorite team, for me that has not been the case. The Astros have always been my favorite team and that will never change. Thankfully, I have my fantasy team to get me through the terrible talent that has filled Houston's roster of late.

The draft is a necessary process that each owner must endure. The first fantasy league I participated in often drafted over a few days. We started the draft and owners drafted when they had a chance. That was frustrating. We changed the draft to one day and hobbled along near five hours. No clock and no auto draft. That really sucked. Through all of this, I always enjoyed the draft. I was drafting with my friends. We would needle each other over picks made and not made. We had fun. I guess it is different drafting with folks you do not know. It is a chore and something to be done quickly. I like the draft process. Each draft is different and is fun for me to watch the process unfold. Sometimes I get the players I want and sometimes I do not. But, I have never begrudged a team taking their allowed time to draft, it is part of the deal.. I guess a friendship is worth a few hours to me.

 

 



 

I have never been a fan of Joba Chamberlain. I thought he was overrated and too animated for my tastes. As I watched the video of him discussing his recent injury, I realized that he gets it. Spending time with his kid is more important that anything else. Even if you hate the Yankees, you have to feel for the guy. If he makes it back to the mound, I will be back to shaking my head at his fist pumps, but then I will think about Joba the dad.

 http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=20296569

 

 


 

That is all I have for today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey:

"If you were a gladiator in olden days, I bet the inefficiency of how the gladiator fights were organized and scheduled would just drive you up a wall."

"If you work on a lobster boat, sneaking up behind someone and pinching him is probably a joke that gets old real fast."


Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own.

 

 

WrestleMania XXVIII - ScottJax's annual predictions
Category: Wrestling
Tags: WWE Wrestling WrestleMania

Sunday, April 1st at 7:00pm its the greatest wrestling event of the year WrestleMania, live from the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida.

WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2012 induction ceremony held Saturday March 31, 2012

The Four Horsemen. To be inducted by Dusty Rhodes.

Edge. To be inducted by Christian.

Mike Tyson. To be inducted by Triple H and Shawn Michaels.

Ron Simmons. To be inducted by JBL.

Mil Mascaras, To be inducted by Alberto Del Rio.

Yokozuna. To be inducted by Jimmy and Jey Uso.

The Four Horseman and Mike Tyson induction ceremony will be on the USA Network on Monday April 2, 2012 at 8pm. The rest of the ceremony will be on the WrestleMania DVD when it comes out later in the year.

 

This year, instead of my annual WrestleMania Party, a bunch of us are heading to Buffalo Wild Wings for the PPV (my son is getting married this Saturday).

Two years ago I started a tradition where I would pick who would win the match and in what order the matches would be. In 2010, I was 7-2 in who would win, but a dismal 0-9 in the order of the matches. In 2011, I was 5-3 in who would win, but again a dismal 1-7 in the order of the matches. This goes to show you that the WWE must know better than I on where a match should be placed. My two year record in 12-5.

Anyway, that will not deter me, as I am again going to pick who will win and in what order the matches will be. Its on with the predictions:

 

Match 1

Intercontinental Championship Match

Cody Rhodes (c) vs. Big Show

Did Cody Rhodes bite off more than he can chew by pissing off The Big Show? There should be no way in hell the Big Show will lose. The Big Show is 3-8 at WrestleMania while Cody is 1-1. Cody just seems to have a way to win, while the Big Show seems to lose a match at the wrong time. That is why I am going with The Big Show.

 

 

Match 2

Team Laurinaitis vs. Team Long

The winning teams leader becomes the new Raw and Smackdown General Manager

Team Laurinaitis:

Captain David Otunga, Drew McIntyre, Mark Henry, The Miz, Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler versus

Team Teddy Long:

Captain Santino Marella, Zack Ryder, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, The Great Khali and Booker T

This match looks stacked for team Laurinaitis. Can anyone really beat Mark Henry? The closest thing would have been the Big Show but he is in another match. Kahli is too lame, Booker T is too old, and the others are not strong enough. So who is going to win? Well Team Long of course. What did you expect? I say that Santino Marella will get the win.

 

Match 3

World Heavyweight Title Match

Daniel Bryan (c) versus Sheamus

Last year it was for the United States Championship, how time has changed. Now, one-year later they meet for the World Heavyweight Championship. Its power, Sheamus, versus high flying/high energy, in Daniel Bryan. Sheamus destroyed Bryan the last time they met. Sheamus is bigger and stronger than Bryan, but Daniel could wear down Sheamus. In the end, it will be the Sheamus, and his strength that actually wears down Daniel Bryan with a three count.

 

Match 4

Singles Match

Randy Orton versusKane

Randy Orton took out Kane several months ago. Now Kane seeks revenge against Mr. RKO. This match might be even weaker than the Divas match. While the women will be good looking, there is nothing good about this match as it will feature a lot of power and very little wrestling. In the end Kane will turn out the lights on Orton.

 

Match 5

WWE Championship Match

CM Punk (c) versus. Chris Jericho

Both wrestlers are outstanding “technical” wrestlers which should make this match very interesting. Jericho is the stronger of the two. Y2J has been working inside Punks head the past couple of weeks. But will anything stop CM Punk from beating the crap out of Chris for what he has been saying about his family? Punk will beat up Y2J, but in the end Jericho will be the new champ.

 

 

Match 6

Hell in the Cell Match with Shawn Michaels as the guest referee

Triple H versus The Undertaker

11 years ago, at WrestleMania X-Seven, these two legends fought an 18:17 match. It was an outstanding duel, and as we all know it was The Undertaker who won to extend his streak to 9-0. Last year, even though The Undertaker won the match to go to 19-0, the real winner was Triple H. He beat The Undertaker senseless. Again the question is, does anyone think that Triple H has a chance. Yea, he has a chance, but, he isn’t going to win. It will be The Undertaker to choke slam Triple H to go 20-0.

 

 

Match 7

Divas Tag-Team Match

Maria Menounos and Kelly Kelly versus. Beth Phoenix and Eve

This match was made when Kelly Kelly was appearing on Maria’s show, Extra, when all of a sudden Beth and Eve try to steal the show. Security broke it up, but Maria rubbed it in Beth’s face that she beat her once and she could do it again. So here we are at WrestleMania but this time Eve will pin her former friend Kelly Kelly.

 

 

Match 8

Singles Match “One Year in the Making”

John Cena versus The Rock

Rappers Flo Rida and Machine Gun Kelly performing

“Fan favorite,” John Cena goes against the most electrifying WWE superstar of all-time, The Rock. Talent goes to The Rock even though he has only been in the ring once for a match since leaving to become an actor. Cena has the capabilities to wrestle, when he has the right opponent (Miz/Punk), otherwise he is a Hulk Hogan clone. Will The Rock take Cena to new heights? Will The Rock see Cena? Will The Rock be cooking? I say it will all happen as John Cena will still beat "The People's Champ" The Rock in Rock’s hometown, in a classic match.

There are some interesting matches at this years WrestleMania. The Rock Versus Cena, The Undertaker versus Triple H and even Punk versus Jericho all should be entertaining. My pick for the show stopper will be The Undertaker versus Triple H.

 

There you have my predictions.

Who do you think is going to win this years matches??

Pictures by: WWE.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will 2012 Be Sayonara For Ichiro In Seattle
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Ichiro Suzuki Seattle Mariners

 

At 38-years-old, Ichiro Suzuki is not getting any younger. He’s at an age when many ballplayers start hearing the whispers of retirement circulating, but then again, not many ballplayers keep themselves in the kind of shape Ichiro does either.

 

Still, the questions needs to be asked: how much longer can he keep going?

 

Ultimately, the decision may be out of his hands? Ichiro comes into the 2012 season, his 12th with the Mariners, in the final year of his contract with Seattle. With a $17 million price tag in hand and the Mariners seemingly in a phase of rebuilding from within, the 10-time All-Star may ultimately find himself on the outside looking in. The Mariners could certainly use the salary relief to pursue other needs and Ichiro may have a difficult time taking a severe pay cut to stay with a team that may not see the fruits of their labors until well after he is gone.

 

So what becomes of Ichiro if he and the Mariners part ways after 2012?

 

This is a man of immense pride, so there is no doubt that Ichiro is fully aware of the fact that he needs just 572 more hits to reach 3000 career in MLB. Coupled with his 1242 in Japan, we’re talking about a player that had he played his entire career here, would likely be challenging Pete Rose’s record for career hits. Think about that for a minute; Ichiro has collected 2428 career hits, or 220 hits per year, for 11 seasons. Still, it is hard to imagine him trying to cross that threshold while suiting up for another team after meaning so much to the city of Seattle over the years.

 

So is it really unfeasible to think that Ichiro could retire at the end of 2012? His 2011 numbers showed the first real signs of decline, marking the first season that he missed hitting either .300 for the season or accumulating 200 hits. His WAR (Wins Above Replacement) took a nose-dive from an average of 5.49 to -0.4. His move out of the lead-off spot will do no wonders for him in 2012, but it was a necessary move for the Mariners, especially after watching his On Base Percentage dip to .310.

 

If Suzuki were to walk away after the 2012 season, it is difficult not to consider him a Hall of Fame candidate. He has been the sole, consistently successful hitter to come from the Japanese leagues to Major League Baseball, birthing a whole new era for the game and its fans. Here are just a few of the notable career accomplishments:

 

-         10-Time All-Star

-         10-Time Gold Glove Winner

-         2-Time Batting Champion

-         One of only two players to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season (Fred Lynn).

-         Single Season Hit Record (262)

-         16th in Career Fielding Percentage amongst outfielders

 

So does he go in the Hall of Fame? You bet he does.

 

Does he get to 3000 hits in order to cement that status? That depends on what he and the Mariners can work out.

WrestleMania picks coming on Wednesday
Category: Wrestling
Tags: WWE WrestleMania

Wednesday ScottJax will be making his WrestleMania predictions. Get yours ready for my next blog on Wednesday.

Please save predictions for Wednesdays blog.

Thanks

 

Scott

Musings From The Hoodwood 3-27
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL NCAA

The Road Ends Here!!!

Greetings from the hoodwood, where the locals are seeking treatment for their collective college hoops overdose.

In 15 days we’ve went from 68 teams to 4 and from a basketball purist standpoint you couldn’t ask for a more heavyweight driven Final Four than what you have this year. The consensus #1 team Kentucky with their precocious and talented freshmen Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis, Ohio State with its chillingly efficient Jared Sullinger and William Buford, Kansas with its player of the year candidate Thomas Robinson and Louisville led by do everything guard Peyton Siva. There are no shortage of storylines here. Can John Calipari finally get the title he has chased from UMass to Memphis to Kentucky (And better still will he be able to keep it?) Will Rick Pitino get the 2nd title that he has so long desired. Will Ohio State finally put it all together? Can Kansas prove that they were the ultimate sleeper? The Big Easy will have four very noisy and boisterous fan bases. The problem is have no love really for any of them. I have always had a soft spot for Kansas and their Rock Chalk KU chant…but Its never been a deep seated love. Though with the Buckeyes and Cards on my master shit lists for defeating my beloved Bearcats and their fans never letting me hear the end of it and the arrogant UK fans who have treated this tournament like their coronation. I have to root hard for the team that has done nothing to offend me.

 

Regional Review

The four regions had their share of wild moments, but no buzzer beaters and only one OT game where an Ohio team that wouldn’t give an inch simply ran out of gas against a tougher UNC game. But the Tar Heels showed more scars from that game than most thought as they were worn down by a relentless Jayhawks squad. Ol Roy Boy didn’t want to say as much but the loss of Kendal Marshall hurt the Heels more than a little down the stretch. I give some dap to Stilman White, the erstwhile backup point guard for UNC. Thrust into lineup with the injury to Marshall, White played capably for a while but as the game  went into its final moments. White looked like he wanted nothing to do with taking a crucial shot. The Jayhawks went on a 13-0 closing run and the Heels had no scoring option. The Jayhawks triangle and 2 taking their key scoring threats, Harrison Barnes and Tyler Zeller out of the mix

In the East Ohio State raced out to a big lead against my beloved Bearcats watched them rally heroically to wipe out that lead and go up 52-48 With the Bucks seemingly on the ropes,they turned on the jets in a 17-1 spurt that sent them to the Elite 8 where they faced Syracuse. The Orange who roiled back and forth in their sweet 16 game but hung on to beat a solid Wisconsin squad in a game that didn’t get decided till a last desperate twisting Badger jumper sailed off line. The Orange and Bucks tussled for awhile in the TD North Garden in Boston but you just had the feeling that the Bucks were just too much of a handful for the Orange. Jared Sullinger repeatedly abused the Orange after being in early foul trouble. The game just seemed to have an odd flow and was tightly officiated. The Lady Bandit and I took some of the game in over dinner where a partisan Ohio State crowd was cheering every positive Buckeyes play. She observed that there were a lot of fouls called and that the Syracuse coach was getting madder and madder. Boeheim ended up getting a T and was lucky that he didn’t get a second later in the game. The Bucks made the game a free throw shooting parade late and Boeheim’s puzzling decision to keep uber playmaker make Scoop Jardine on the bench in the 2nd half was a puzzling coda to a 77-70 Bucks win. 2 of the 3 Orange losses this season were to teams from Ohio.

The Ville seems to win the ugliest games, witness their Big East title win over Cincy a stomach turning 50-44 decision. Or their ouster of #1 seed Michigan State in the regional semis a 58-47 clunker that no one outside of Jefferson County in Kentucky could have loved. Ive never been a Rick Pitino fan, his whining preening style is annoying and grating, but give the man his due. He wins with any kind of style, this grinder of a team he has this year wont win any aesthetic awards but they have won ball games. After the snoozer win over the Spartans, they fell behind to the Florida Gators who quietly made the regional final by rolling past Marquette and taking advantage of the absence of #2 Mizzou on that side of the draw. The Gators raced to an 8 point lead at the half and were up 11 with 8:16 to play. The Cards blitzed the Gators with a 23-8 run and stormed back to the 72-68 win. The win was even more impressive in that the Cards made most of their run with their do everything guard Peyton Siva on the bench. Oh geez this means we will have to see Siva’s father 20 million times during the national semifinal.

Finally there is Kentucky who has seemingly toyed with every opponent in the tourney. They played a thrilling track meet with Indiana for a half in the Sweet 16 and for awhile in the second it looked like the Hoosiers were going to match the Wildcats blow for blow. But the Hoosiers never took the lead in the 2nd half and the Wildcats just kept pulling further and further away the 102-90 decision was the most points scored in any game in the tourney and the only game that a team cracked the century mark. Indiana was the only team in the tourney so far to score 90 and lose. They went to regional final to face Baylor who’s up and down play let Xavier back into the game after taking a 22-4 lead early. The Bears held off a number of late charges to win 77-70. The Bears then raced out to an early 10-5 lead on Kentucky and looked to be in position to spring the mammoth upset. Facing their largest deficit of the tourney so far, all that did was annoy the Wildcats as they went on a frightening 34-7 run to destroy the Bears regional title hopes and cruise to an 82-70 win. This sets up a bluegrass rematch of the highest order. The arch rivals of the Commonwealth who for so long refused to play one another until they were forced to do so in the 1982 NCAA tourney then were shamed into playing one another by state proclamation. Now they play once a year and there is still no love lost especially with Cardinals coach Rick Pitino being UK’s most famous Ex-coach.

Ohio State and Kansas face off in a rematch as well, the Jayhawks rolled over the then second ranked Bucks in Allen but did so without facing Jared Sullinger. Im thinking that the Bucks will methodically wear the Jayhawks down in the second semifinal after the Wildcats overpower the Cards. There will be no suicide watches in Kentucky as the Wildcats beat the Bucks to win their first title in 14 years and give SEC fan one more teasing point on Ohio State.

 

The Big Tuna in the Big Easy?

Yeah, it could happens. Disgraced and soon to be suspended Saints Coach Sean Payton is reaching out to former mentor Bill Parcells to coach the Saints in his absence...could it happen? Stay tuned

 

Hes Baaaaack! Tiger takes the Palmer

Damn kid, it took ya long enough! Tiger Woods finally did the damn thing. Winning the Arnold Palmer invitational by 5 strokes over Graeme McDowell, the joy on Tigers face was obvious. Every media outlet has chronicalled the 2 plus years since Woods last tour victory in September 2009, since then Woods has had a nasty adultery scandal, leading to a painful and very public divorce, awkward apologies, crippling injuries and a puzzling slump that were leading many to believe that tour win #73 would be a long time coming if ever. But Tiger has shown a resiliency that has been long lacking and shook off a pesky achillies injury from his last outing to roll to a win in one of his favorite venues. The only shame was that the tourney’s namesake Arnold Palmer wasn’t on hand to present the trophy to Woods. The living legend was hospitalized with high blood pressure. We in the hoodwood wish Mr. Palmer a speedy recovery. And uh oh, whats the next major tour event??? It wouldn’t be a pristine course in Georgia where they give out green jackets to the winners would it???

 

Tebow time in the Big Apple

Tell me if this makes any sense to you. A backup quarterback getting back page news in the NYC tabloids and a press conference to boot. If it was anyone other than Timothy Richard Tebow, it would be considered a useless excerise. But Tebow mania is coming to the Big Apple. The soap opera that is the New York Jets and their grinning jeering coach Rex Ryan continue to outdo themselves in hyperbole. While their MetLife Stadium roommate New York Giants have won two Super Bowls in four years, the Jets seem to be more fodder for the tabloids than headliners for winning games. In a stunning reversal the Jets seemingly gave starter Mark Sanchez a vote of confidence by spurning any thought of pursing then free agent QB Peyton Manning and giving Sanchez a contract extension. Making a crazy quixotic turn the Jets then traded for Tebow. Sanchez, a fragile ego to begin with in the maelstrom that is the New York media shark tank now has to deal with the looming shadow of Tebow and his loud, loyal fan base. Tebow of course said all the right things in his Monday presser. Saying that he just wanted to do what was needed to help the Jets win and that about Sanchez  that he “(thinks) We'll have a great relationship and, hopefully, we'll thrive together.” Many in the New York media ripped the trade and many former Jets did too. Jets legend Joe Namath called the move a dumb publicity stunt and many are lef to wonder that in an already highly charged locker room will the arrival of Tebow rip the team further apart. Tebow could have went to Jacksonville, a team with a young QB of its own in Blaine “Gabby” Gabbert and the Jags were hot for him, since Tebow grew up in Jacksonville and the Jags are desperate for a PR move that would fill the seats at an otherwise mostly empty EverBank Field. But Tebow wanted NYC and the Broncos made the trade work after a lengthy and at times puzzling horse trading session. Tebow leaving Denver had a number of critics including one that you wouldn’t expect (See Head Slap) Sanchez in a conference call later said that he was not concerned over his starting job. He better be, cause you can bet your bottom dollar the first time he throws a pick, or a string of incompletions not only will the boo bird come out but the Tebow chants will start. It ran Kyle Orton out of Denver, Im betting that it will drive Sanchez out of Gotham before the season is half over.

PHAT DAP/HEAD SLAP

 

Phat Dap

In the wake of the tragic shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the Miami Heat lead by Lebron James lead a protest of their own, the team was photographed hoodies up as a symbolic gesture over the controversy surrounding the shooting last month. While there are still no arrests and a good deal of the country has strong opinions, usually sports figures try to stay above it. James and the Heat felt it necessary to say little but their gesture said a lot. As a black man, I understand  the frustration and have dealt with harassment before just because I looked suspicious as Im sure everyone of those players were saying with their gesture. I commend the James and the Heat for their actions and Hoodwood stands with the players and those that are calling for action in this matter.

Head Slap

To televangelist and noted blowhard Pat Robertson who on his 700 Club program was very sharp and pointed on his criticism of the Denver Broncos for trading Tebow. Robertson who rarely pontificates on sports took offense that the Broncos picked up Manning and traded Tebow. Robertson opined about Manning’s neck injury and said that the Broncos would be in serious trouble if Manning got hurt. That’s a no brainer and nothing overly controversial but he followed that up with the opinion that trading away Tebow would haunt the Broncos in some sort of dogmatic karma. Robertson went on to state that Tebow had turned the “nothing” Broncos into a contender and that acquiring Manning to bench then trade the devoutly religious QB was nothing short of terrible. Robertson needs to stick with what works, thundering from his pulpit for money and calling those that don’t follow his ideals evil.

Thats the view from the Hoodwood, until next post fellow sports fans!

 

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