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Weekly Grumble with IHM
Category: FEATURED

 

  Hello folks, and welcome to this week’s second grumble with IHM. This week, we’ve seen some great baseball, including Opening Day (in America anyhow) and a loss for every team in the league but one. The one team left undefeated, the Detroit Tigers.

  The Tigers were able to pick up walk-off wins in their first two games against the Royals, including a win Wednesday despite new closer Joe Nathan’s best efforts, thanks to a walk off single by new second baseman Ian Kinsler. Friday, things were a little less close. The Tigers jumped out to an early 4-2 lead, then sat through an hour long rain delay to resume play and end up winning it 10-4, thanks to home runs by OF’s Torii Hunter and Raji Davis, as well as Miguel Cabrera’s first of the season. Miguel Cabrera’s two run shot in the 8th provided some historical significance, as he became the 5th player in MLB history with 2,000 hits, 300+ HRs, and 1200+ RBI over their first 12 seasons. He came into the day just four hits shy of the milestone, and proceeded to go 4-5. He joined a pretty impressive list of players in the process, including Joe DiMaggio, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, and Albert Pujols.

  As a part of my efforts to remove myself as much from ESPN as possible, I have been trying to give Fox Sports 1 more of a shot recently. While I still can’t stand the two tools they have on their “SportsCenter” esque “Fox Sports Live”, I have come to enjoy the MLB Whiparound show they have put together, which includes a local guy in Ryan Field as the anchor, and Gabe Kapler/Frank Thomas as analysts. Pretty solid stuff, with some nice live look-ins along with the day’s highlights. Today, I get to watch the Cleveland-Minnesota game followed by the Dodgers-Giants game… two nationally televised games and neither one involves Boston or New York. Sounds like a winner to me! Sorry Boston fans, but thanks to ESPN, you are pretty much on par with the Yankees in terms of coverage now.

  In other MLB news, Masahiro Tanaka made his MLB debut, going seven innings and allowing two runs while striking out eight en route to his first MLB win over the Jays.

  I’m not sure how often any of you get a chance to watch Mike Trout play, but the next time you do take it. Going into captain obvious mode here… but this guy is good… damn good. At every aspect of the game. While Miguel Cabrera might be the best hitter in baseball right now, this kid is the best overall player in baseball right now. He’s becoming the kind of player you expect something special every at bat, or every time someone hits a ball to center field. The throw he made to nail a guy at the plate last night was one of the best damn throws I’ve seen made in a Major League game this side of Roberto Clemente’s highlight reel. If this kid stays healthy, we could be mentioning him in the same breath as guys like Clemente, Mays, Mantle, etc. The scary thing is, he probably STILL isn’t as good as he’s going to get.

   Yasiel Puig is back in the news for the wrong reasons again, this time after being late to BP before Friday’s game. As a result, old man Mattingly benched Puig for the Dodgers home opener, playing Matt Kemp instead. Must be a hell of a problem to have, pulling Kemp off the bench to replace a starter. No word yet if Mattingly made any reference to Puig’s sideburns while he was being read the riot act (bonus points to anyone who got that Simpson’s reference).

  DeSean Jackson called being released by the Eagles “disrespectful” in an interview with ESPN’s biggest blowhard Stephen A. Smith. On a side note… STOP IT with the fake glasses already. I don’t know if you all actually saw the interview between these two idiots, but Jackson was wearing a pair of glasses that looked like he was in fucking sixth grade shop class. It doesn’t make you look any smarter; it makes you look like a fucking tool.

  Speaking of “that’s enough already”, I’d like to send another one of those out to the band “Five Finger Death Punch” after hearing their terrible, awful, disappointment to humanity cover of the Animal’s House of the Rising Sun. This comes after their cover of “Bad Company”… not quite as bad, but definitely no Bad Company. Because of the upsetting nature of this attempt at a cover, they’ve been added to my enemies list, which I may or may not update every week based upon the popularity of this segment.

  ESPN has spent a week now hyping up Kevin Durant’s pursuit of Michael Jordan’s streak of 40 straight games with 25 or more points… and yesterday Durant’s 28 point effort was just enough to tie Jordan for the longest streak of 25 point games. Of course, ESPN failed to mention that was the record for the past two years, and it marks the halfway point for the actual record, held by Wilt Chamberlain who did so in 80 straight games in a single season.

  Doug McDermott won the Wooden Award as the nation’s top basketball player after averaging 27 points per game for Creighton in his senior year.

  That’s all I’ve got for today folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. Enjoy your weekend Gabbers.

 

Opening Day & Other News
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: MLB Nationals Redskins Jackson

Today was Opening Day at Nationals Park, and despite the best attempts of DC's worst drivers to keep me from arriving to the game in one piece, I was able to get there in time for introductions...from the roof top of the parking garage.  (Not a bad pic for an iPhone).  The Nats opened the season with a nice, but expected, sweep of the Mets and then came home today to play their nemesis, the Braves.  It seems like the team goes into brain lock every time they play Atlanta - even though a 2-1 loss is hardly tragic for the 4th game of the season, it was a frustrating defeat.  It included a bizarre home run by Ian Desmond that was taken away by instant replay...the ball rolls under the pad in left field but is easily retrieved by Upton...it clearly was not "lodged" so I don't get the call.  Here is the video of that play:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:10729743

I'm glad baseball is back...it gives me a reason to look at the sports page again.

Jackson is a Redskin

Although there is no shortage of news this week.  The really big sports story here this week is the DeSean Jackson signing by the Redskins preceeded by the strangely engineered release by the Eagles.  First on the release...I think the Eagles have a bit of a screw loose.  Receivers are the biggest divas on any football team, but when they are on the field, an elite receiver is a game changer.  Perhaps Chip still thinks he is at Oregon and can go recruit better talent than everyone else...I think it puts a ding in the Eagles' chances to have another great year in 2014.   On the Redskins side of things, there can be no excuse for RGIII not to deliver this season...he has 3 great targets at the wideouts and an emerging top talent at TE.  To me, it was definitely worth the risk.   You know he is going to be a model & motivated teammate this season - if he blows up in 2015, the Skins burned $8 million of Danny's money.   One angle of this whole affair is to see what role the Eagles had in leaking the "gang association" story to the press.  If they did that to justify their release of Jackson, they really need to pay a stiff penalty.

The news that Tiger Woods is out of the Masters - and maybe most or all of this year's golf season - with back surgery immediately begs the question of whether the "Tiger Era" is officially over.  It has been 5 full years since Tiger won a major and although he can win the second tier tournaments, every player gears their game for the 4 big tournaments each year.  Just like tennis, if you don't win an Open or a Masters or a Wimbledon, you haven't had a great year.  Tiger's quest to catch Jack Nicklaus' career major total of 18 seems like a giant mountain to climb, and even though I am not a Tiger fan, I have to admit that it takes something away when he is not in the field.  

I hope everyone has a great weekend...btw, my last travel experience is another great example of why business travel stinks:  3.5 hours on the tarmac followed by cancelation - I got to my meeting on Monday, but barely.  At least I got to let it run on the autobahn!

Slapshots and Hipchecks 4/4
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Red Sox Opening Day DeSean Jackson David Ortiz Chris Johnson

 

Sorry about posting late Gabber's...last night I had a board meeting for our HOA and what was supposed to be a brief, maybe 30 minute coverage of budget items turned into 2 hours of bullshit, followed by us unwinding on the deck while it was still in the 70's drinking some Jamaican Rum...we all know what happened after that. 

First, do we think we've had enough coverage of David Ortiz taking a selfie with the President yet? Personally I thought it was a pretty funny moment...but then the rumors started flying that it was actually a promo...but in all the articles I read none of them had quoted Ortiz, who said it wasn't. Time to move on media...you've beaten the shit out of this story too, but what else is new? At least it started to move the Malaysian flight off the radar (pun intended) for a few hours...I feel for the families of this tragedy, I really do, but does anyone in this world really believe after all this time the plane will be found? From all appearances the folks who are coordinating the search efforts seem to have no clue to where to begin looking. All I want to know is - How the fuck do you lose a plane? 

So, I understand it's baseball season now...is that correct? Not quite in baseball mode with hockey gearing up for season 2 in a week or so. The Red Sox have opening day this afternoon, and in front of the Brewers they'll get their WS series rings and I'll be tuning in for that. As you see from the above photo, the World Series rings are a thing of beauty. I'm sure that this ceremony will be pretty emotional since a lot of the Marathon bombing victims will be in attendance. I don't know what the Sox have in store for the festivities beyond that, but I'm sure it will be handled with exceptional grace and class! 

 

The other day I was talking to a neighbor about football, he's a Redskin fan and when I said I wasn't surprised the Skins signed DeSean Jackson and they'll probably regret it because one, he's a tool, and another, he can't stay healthy long enough to make a true impact...just the kind of guy Daniel Snyder would hire and guarantee that he gets $16 million guaranteed. He asked me why all the hate for his beloved Skins...I merely [pointed out that since Snyder has taken the helm of the Skins what have they done other than do what the Cowboys do, overpay for guys who turn out to be busts, Dallas seems to do more of the - We'd rather they look good doing it than being good at it...where as Washington simply throws money at every position with no regard for the fact most of the guys they sign were passed over for one reason or another. Jackson has the talent and ability to be a great receiver, and he's shown flashes of brilliance, but that's clearly been overshadowed by his injury issues. Bottom line, Jackson laughs all the way to the bank and he's not going to amount to much in the Beltway. Snyder may think he's got the right guy for RG III to throw too now, but he's forgotten one important fact...they guy has to be on the field to catch the ball.

Just saw on the ticker that Chris Johnson WILL be released today by the Titans. Here's another example of a guy who performed well enough to get huge deal then turned into a bust. He had no rush for over 30 yards last season...when I read that compared to what he had done prior to the contract he signed in 2011 I wasn't shocked. I call this the Shaun Alexander syndrome. Alexander plays every game each season until he signed his new deal for $63 million with $15 million guaranteed, and $15 million the first season of the deal and never played a full season again, and never rushed for more than 800 yards either. Yeah....fuck you pay me, now I'll watch my bank account get larger while my stats go down the toilet...but I got paid and that's all that matters. Again...I'm for base salaries and incentive filled contracts. You know, like how it works in the real world...you show up and perform you get paid, you fuck up, see ya later. So what becomes of Johnson now? Who take a chance on this guy? Hey Snyder, hey Jerry Jones....break out the checkbooks!

That's all I've got today...and again, m apologies for being late and brief...Have a great weekend!!!

More Tourney Talk
Category: NCAA
Tags: NCAATournament CollegeBasketball WNIT FinalFour MinnesotaGoldenGophers MurrayStateRacers CBI NIT

This weekend is a big mix of championship crowning moments.

In the NCAA men's tournament, I correctly predicted two of the Final Four participants in Wisconsin and my eventual champion pick Florida. I had Louisville and Michigan State but they both lost out to the surprise runs of Kentucky and Connecticut.

I'm sticking with my Florida pick, but I had them playing Louisville in the title game. While not changing my brackets obviously, I'm picking Wisconsin to beat Kentucky to play in the title. game.

In the NCAA women's tournament, I picked 3 of the four Final Four teams in Stanford, UConn and Notre Dame. Maryland getting there was a surprise for sure.

I have UConn repeating as champs. I thought they'd beat Notre Dame in the final, but when the Irish lost one of their best players to injury (she's out for the rest of the way), I think it might just open the door for Maryland to increase their chances to win their way to the title game.

The WNIT tournament finishes tomorrow at 3pm on the CBS Sports Network. Rutgers will be playing UTEP for the title. My bracket for this tourney is long dead so assuming I watch the game I'll just be hoping for a good game regardless of who wins.

The men's CBI tourney is a best of three final. Siena and Fresno State split the first two games and will be play the decisive 3rd game on Saturday..

In the CIT tournament, the Murray State Racers captured the championship last night knocking off Yale 65-57. The Racers finish the season at 23-11.

As for the NIT championship game, Richard Pitino capped off a solid start at Minnesota when his Golden Gophers knocked off Larry Brown's SMU Mustangs 65-65 to capture the title. Minnesota finished with a 25-13 record.

Opening Day Memories at Fenway
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB. Fenway Park Boston Red Sox

 

Today is opening Day at Fenway Park, it’s bright out but 43 degrees expected at game time. I’m off today and considered going in than the thought of waiting on line and getting in at game time and misses all the other festivities just didn’t mesh well. With me. However  I will share some personal memories of opening days I have attended.

Openning Day was the only day my parents would give us permission to skip school. All 4 years of High School myself and a group friends would make the trek in and get bleacher or standing room seats. The fun part of those days was just being with your friends. We would take the train and just enjoy the crapout of the day. As I got older my friend Carmine and I would go every year never have tickets and also we get in the game.

We practiced this up until 5 or 6 years ago. Then it just wasn’t in the cards anymore. One of the best memories and I don’t remember the year . The Sox opened against the Blue Jays. They did all the pregame stuff. Then it came time for the National Anthems. Oh Canada went off beautifully. Then America the Beautiful . Wait where is the Star Spangaled Banner. The crowd took it upon themselves to sing it. It was the best redition I have ever heard.

Before this ownership group took over the Red Sox  you would here all over TV that the game was sold out. He would get in about 9am people had been camping out for tix. The rep from the Red Sox would come out with the bull horn and say todays game is a sell out. Then they would release tickets little by little one year we went in the box office seven times before we got Tickets.

 

There was theyear that Openning Day was rained out and we went in the next day. It actually worked out better we were getting inline at the box office and two guys came up they had six tickets two for them and 4 more.. We needed 4 the guy explained the other4 guys had to work they just wanted face value on them . They set us with some really sweet seats along first base side. Needless to say we bought those guys a lot of beers..

 

There was the year that the game was sold out and w were in line and the guy from the Red Sox   came out and said we will be releasing a bunch of tickets close to game time stay in line. Guys about ten in front start screaming we have monster seats. Needless to say the chant of Bullshit came out. We got up to the ticket window the guy says what do want. We ask what do you have. He says everything from Field boxes to monsters. We took the monsters. As we were in line that day we watching one of the local news crews

Send up microphones and stuff by rope. We also notice perhaps a pint went up to a local news guy. When we got in the game the usher escorted us to our seats and he said you guys have great guests sitting next you. It was Troy Brown and several other Patriots. . We had a ball that day. The patriots were just being fans and acting like fans lots of  connection. I remebre Larry Izzo just have a blast with the fans. I remember being in line

For a beer and two patriot D backs were standing there and that newscaster went bye. One of the patriots tapped me and said Hey see that dude he is a mess when he comes into our locker room. We had a good laugh.

My favorite Memory is I cut out of work went over in 2005. The Sox opened against the Yankees and the crowd cheered Mariano Riveria for his help in the ALCS  The smile on his face when the Fenway faithful cheered was priceless.

Hope you enjoy this leave a comment of your favorite opening day memories.

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