Tagged with "Football"
Sports Friday with Hal: The NFL is back!
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Football Free agency draft news notes Rolling Stones

Football is back! Training camps are open! It’s a Fantastic Friday!!!

 

Had a busy football week as I’m getting into “all football all the time” and chomping at the bit for all the news coming out of the training camps. Hard Knocks on HBO features the Atlanta Falcons debuts on August 5th. The NFL Network is on all day long in the background to catch news on injuries, suspensions, etc.

 

NFL NOTES:

 

Dall-ass strikes again:
Curious situation going on in Dallas with the release of backup quarterback Kyle Orton. It seems that there was some friction between him and the team leading to his release. Most (like I did as well) just assumed he was retiring. Now the Cowboys bombastic owner Jerry Jones has indicated that the team had fined Orton for not attending mini-camps and save about $3 million on the cap by releasing the former starter. Of course, that leaves Dallas with (gulp!) Brandon Weeden at quarterback. With that porous offensive line in Dallas, a strong backup to Tony Romo is a must. Not sure I would want Weeden warming up on the sidelines if it was my team.

 

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Running to glory:

Jamaal Charles worked a nifty extension out of the Chiefs this week. He is basically getting two-years and $18 million on his old deal. Whether he was going to hold out or not is up in the air, but there is no doubt he is one of the few running backs in the league with the power to hold out. Kansas City is a running team and they NEED Charles healthy and happy. Charles is not breaking the bank as he is getting a $4 million raise this year and his total deal goes to four-years for $28 million which is not a bad deal for the best offensive player on the team.

 

Just who is “elite” these days?

The next question is what to do with Alex Smith at quarterback. He wants “elite QB” money ($20 million per season) and the team is unlikely to negotiate near those numbers. Is he elite? Is he worth it? Was Joe Flacco worth it? How about Tony Romo? It will be interesting to see how that situation plays out over the next year. (FYI, in my opinion he is decidedly not elite and the Chiefs need to look for a young quarterback to replace Smith if he wants crazy money)

 

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Beast-less mode in Seattle?

Marshawn Lynch is apparently holding out of training camp in Seattle. Two years ago he signed a four-year $30 million contract. Last I checked, the Seahawks front office did not have a gun placed to his head. Upset that Jamaal Charles gets more money now? Fire your agent, Marshawn. The Seahawks gave Lynch money up front and long-term security. I really hope they do not give in and let him rack up the fines for not showing up.

 

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The Good Rice:

Former Seahawks and Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice retired at age 27 this week. He was cut from the ‘Hawks to clear cap space and came back. He missed games due to knee and concussion issues. Rice had a few good years but had many injury issues. It was a surprise since he was expected to provide depth in Seattle this year. Expect that he will be talked back into the league in the next year due to the thinness of the position in large around the league.

 

*

 

The Bad Rice:

Seriously? Two games and one check? That’s the price of beating the shit out of a woman in today’s NFL? This was a brutal assault caught on hotel security tapes with Rice dragging his then fiance (now wife so she does not have to testify against him?) around unconscious...unconscious because he knocked her out. Two games. Will Smith took a banned diuretic in 2011 and got two games. Wow. Terrible call...Rice deserved a season to start with at minimum.

 

* * *


Big happy birthday to our Thursday blogging superstar, Old Harry. He wrote about sharing a birthday with Mick Jagger. Reminded me of a funny story with my kids a few years back. There was a popular song “Moves Like Jagger” and of course my kids (both pre-teens at that time) are asking “Who is Jagger?” as there was another song (I don’t remember) that some teeny-bopper referenced Mick as well (I just remember explaining to my 8-year old daughter what it meant to “rinse with Jack (Daniels)” or some ridiculous partying song lyric…). So the old man decides to show them just how cool Jagger was with “Dancing in the Streets” with David Bowie and then “Start me Up” with the 1981 video and all its “fantastic” fashion choices. Suffice to say the kids’ jaws were hanging open staring at the screen.

 

Now I love the Stones and can pull anything out of their catalog for a listen--even enjoy a lot of the newer albums but Mick had some scary fashion choices back in the day.  Of course, just a few weeks ago my wife and I were talking about a Poison concert we had gone to and I fired up Poison’s “Nothin but a good time” and got that wonderful look I am sure I gave my parents when I was forced to sit and listen to “good music” be it old Hank Williams Sr. singles with my Dad pulling out the 45s or show tunes and classical with my mother playing DJ in my youth.

 

* * *

 

OK, that’s all for now. Have a great weekend, all!

 
Sports Friday with Hal: Around the Leagues
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Sports Baseball Football Basketball Hockey NHL NFL MLB NBA

Happy Friday!

 

Locally it is another week closer to another epic meltdown by the Boston Red Sox who have decided to copy the San Francisco Giants with their “win one year, crash the next” strategy. The Boston Bruins lost top line veteran sniper Jarome Iginla and are struggling to find a way to replace him. The Boston Celtics are jumping in on trades to...well, who the heck knows what they are doing? Football is two weeks away as in just two weeks training camps will open and it will be all football news all the time until January as the Patriots try to get back to the Super Bowl.

 

Nationally in the MLB, the Baltimore Orioles have taken over the American League East, Detroit looks strong in the Central, and the Texas Rangers inexplicably have crashed harder than the Red Sox as Anaheim and Oakland duke it out in the AL West. Over in the Senior Circuit Miami and the Mets won’t die in the National League East as Atlanta and Washington remain bunched up, the Central is bunched up as well with St. Louis charging (and losing Yadier Molina for 8 to 12 weeks...Ouch!) and Cincinnati and Pittsburgh close enough to strike behind Milwaukee, and finally in the West the Dodgers and Giants are deadlocked echoing an epic battle for the summer played out initially in baseball history in New York and after the 1960s out west.

 

Basketball is all about free agency in the NBA and waiting for the dominoes to fall. Dwyane Wade is likely returning to Miami but will LeBron James follow? Is Chris Bosh too insecure to take the big bucks in Houston and form a Big Three with Superman (Dwight Howard) and the Beard (James Harden)? Carmelo Anthony SHOULD go to Chicago, but is there enough cash and glamour for him? Would he interact with Kobe in L.A.? Come back to the Knicks? LeBron to Cleveland? Now that would cause the Internet to explode.

 

The big news in the NHL is that the Blackhawks locked up their two top players signing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to matching $84 million deals. Both are young (25 and 26 years old) and dynamic players on a squad that has established themselves as the elite franchise in the NHL. Having these two locked up for another another eight years puts the franchise on a winning track for the future. The ‘Hawks have two Stanley Cup wins with the duo and Kane has won the Calder (2008) and Conn Smythe (2013) while Toews has won the Conn Smythe (2010) and Selke (2013). Now they are in Chicago together through 2022-23.  Wow. That is called winning an offseason!

 

Finally, the NFL is quiet with camps so close and the last weeks of time off for the players and coaches (and beat writers!). The NFL had the supplemental draft come and go without a team wasting a draft pick for the second consecutive year. The last pick? 2012 when Cleveland got Josh Gordon for a second round pick. Of course, Gordon is in the news for all the wrong reasons having already been reported to be facing a season-long suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. This time he was arrested and charged with a DWI last weekend.

 

Gordon is supposed to have a hearing for his suspension for the substance abuse test failure later this month to request a reduced suspension. With his suspension last year (two games and two games with no pay) and now a DWI and speeding ticket last month (with his passenger cited for possession of marijuana) the supremely talented player is doing himself no favors.

 

It seems the NFL Players Union has hurt their own players by negotiating all this time off in the offseason and limits on time working with teams. With more time off players have more time to get into trouble. Aaron Hernandez was the poster child for too much time away from the team last year, and now Gordon is finding more ways to sabotage his career. Some players seem to need the structure of team control all year long to keep themselves out of trouble, but the Players Union has decreed it is not in the best interest of their constituents to have them spend the offseason with the team getting better and putting out a better product and stuff like that. Sad.

 

Finally, from the NFL’s only publicly traded team--the Green Bay Packers--having to release revenue numbers comes news that all that money going to the NFL teams...oh, yeah, there is more than anyone imagined. NFL teams divided more than $6 billion last season. Revenue rose almost 5% from the year prior and just continuing to grow. The DirecTV deal is up and being negotiated...the NFL Network got another big chunk of cash for CBS to take over half of the Thursday Night lineup, and the money keeps rolling in. With no signs of slowing, the league continues to pile up the profits.

 

OK, that’s all for today. Have a great weekend!

 

Sunday Musings #154
Category: User Showcase
Tags: NFL CollegeFootball BostonRedSox WNBA BostonBruins

 

 

While enjoying this extended holiday weekend...

FOOTBALL

Aaron Hernandez - Did you see the major marketing oops surrounding both the Florida Gators and New England Patriots this week? It seems that calendars for both teams feature everyone's favorite potential triple murderer Aaron Hernandez.

According to the their party company that produced the calendars, approval was given months before any charges were filed against Hernandez. Of course, if that is the case, doesn't the school and the team keep track of who's in what as far as promotional type materials for the team?

I mean if they can keep stats on who uses their left leg or their right leg more on third down in November games below 50 degrees, the front office ought to know which players are featured in what material, no?

You can read more about his story HERE.

 

 

WNBA

The New York Liberty actually had a good week for a change. They won both of their games to "improve" to 6-11 on the season. First they nipped the Connecticut Sun 67-65 and then beat the Tulsa Shock handily 90-74.

About the only down type of news for the team this week was related to assistant coach Katie Smith. She was replaced as the #2 all-time WNBA scorer by Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury.

BOSTON RED SOX

Professional writers and commentators have been talking for a while now about exactly when the Red Sox will concede they won't win the World Series this year so that they can sell off any trade worthy assets and go all in with their youth movement.

I've been holding off on conceding the season so those articles have kind of irritated me to this point. But after watching the Red Sox get slapped around by the woeful Chicago Cubs in a three game sweep AT Fenway Park earlier this week, I'm damn close to saying the Sox should pack it in.

What a terrible notion though. To give up before they even reach the All-Star break disgusts me. But with a ton of injuries to key players that don't seem to be healing in a timely manner and a general feeling of malaise from those that are actually on the field, maybe it is time to play as many of the youngsters to give them as much major league seasoning as possible and come back to make a strong run at contention next season.

Of course, playing the less experienced guys comes with the knowledge that the team is likely to be nearly as bad as the Bobby Valentine Year. After all, Jackie Bradley Jr. can't hit MLB pitching and Xander Boegarts is in a huge slump. But Brock Holt looks like the real deal and Mookie Betts seems to have started off his stay with the big club as well as could be expected.

But what about the pitching? Clay Buchholz is back from his injury rehab and has pitched markedly better than what he had been doing before. It hasn't translated into W's for him, but he's at least kept the team in games and he wasn't really doing that before. But if he can string together some really good performances, will the Sox look to trade him for something to help their future?

Brandon Workman was doing well until the BS suspension that left him out of the rotation for 12 days. He got shelled in his last start. But I'd like to see him stick around for a while.

I know Jon Lester is the most talked about guy to be on the trading block. Given his 9-7 record and periods where he's getting hit as often as a punch drunk boxer, trading him when you can't agree on a new contract for multiple pieces in return seems like a good idea. But I think trading the acknowledged ace of your staff is going to hurt the team in ways both on and off the field. While his record might make many happy the Sox didn't give him a huge contract offer before the season started, I think the lowball offer they did extend will bite them in the ass after the season ended. Should Lester turn things around in the second half of the season and become a lights out starter, Sox GM Ben Cherington is going to have to decide between opening the vault doors or parting ways with a guy that is seen as one of the key foundational members of the team.

BOSTON BRUINS

Okay hockey fans who happen to read this column, was Jarome Iginla leaving the Bruins a foregone conclusion?

After seeing the news that he signed a 3 year, 16 million dollar deal to play for the Colorado Avalanche I was wondering if the Bruins even made an attempt at keeping him. If not, why not? Was his performance not enough to justify trying to keep him, or was the contract demands more than the Bruins were willing to assume?

The other question I had is with the talent that has already left the club so far this offseason, do the Bruins still have enough top line guys to make a serious attempt at the Stanley Cup next season?

In an unrelated to "real" hockey, I watched the Rob Lowe hockey film Youngblood on Thursday night. I remember when it first came out and how much I liked it. I think it is still an okay film but it definitely doesn't hold up as well.

MISCELLANEOUS

Music - Here at Yougabsports, one of this week's Question of the Day entries asked about the first concert site readers/contributors had attended. I took it a bit further and did a separate blog entry detailing all the concerts I've attended since before 1986. You can read that HERE

I got two review articles done this week. The first one is a four pack of mini reviews for albums that were released in 2013. I hadn't gotten around to buying them before 2014 came around but I wanted to share my thoughts on each of the discs, even if it is an abbreviated version of said thoughts. You can check out what I thought of albums by Julie Roberts, Paul Rodgers, Black Star Riders and The Winery Dogs via this Pop-topia.com link.

I also reviewed the new Night Ranger CD High Road for KNAC.com. You can check out that one HERE.

Last week I included the lyric video for the Overkill song "Armorist". But over the course of the week, the band released the official video. You can see it below.

TV - The recap for 24: Live Another Day Episode 10 is online via this Pop-topia.com link.

Books - I had a big week of book buying this week, adding 7 new selections to my ever expanding to read pile. The books in question are as follows: Star Trek The Next Generation - Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang, The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling under a pen name), The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly, The Highway by C.J. Box and both Murder on the Half Shelf and Not the Killing Type by Lorna Barrett. On Saturday I added the Linwood Barclay thriller A Tap on the Window.

I gave the Rowling book to my mother to read first as she is a huge Harry Potter fan and I wanted to let her see if she liked this total story change from the author. Plus it will be a while before I get to it anyway.

This week on the Today Show, best selling authors Brad Thor and Kate White were asked for their summer reading recommendations. In the suspense category, they both picked the Terry Hayes book I Am Pilgrim. It was nice to see them giving some love to a book I loved. However, not too brag (too much), but I was on the fan bandwagon for the novel months ago.

Sports Friday with Hal: Waiting on the NFL
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Football NBA MLB Soccer FIFA World Cup Tennis Wimbledon

Happy Friday!

Missing the NFL right now as the OTAs are winding down and training camp is a month away. Following the NFL has become a full-time job recently with just this month the only real downtime in the schedule. That said, after all the combine, draft, free agency, etc I am ready for the games to get here.  Training camp has become an “event” in the past 15-20 years and now is a big part of the NFL calendar for fans.

Without football, all eyes are on baseball, tennis, and soccer. I enjoyed trying to watch as much of the College World Series as it is real enjoyable to track the young stars of tomorrow in the tournament. Enjoyed catching the Longhorns game versus Vanderbilt on ESPN last Saturday night despite the “Clemens Cam” that seemed fixed on former major league pitcher Roger Clemens on hand to watch his son at Texas. Nice to see Vandy finally win their first CWS championship.

 

Wimbledon is in full bloom and although tennis was never big in my house growing up, I enjoyed playing on the lawn with the neighbors every July as we caught Wimbledon fever and built our own ”court” on the front lawn. I do remember that we always watched the mens and womens finals (in the morning, of course) and instead of cream and strawberries we munched on fresh picked strawberries from the garden (with no-fat milk substituted for the cream) as my mother insisted on the traditional Wimbledon snack.

The World Cup is in full swing and the U.S. were lucky enough to have Portugal knock off Ghana and allow them into the knockout round of sixteen. The Americans seemed...off...against Germany. Not sure if they were playing over-conservative to keep it close or whatever, but it almost backfired. Had Ghana scored instead of Ronaldo for Portugal and it would have been good night for U.S. Soccer.

Finally, major league baseball had a no-hitter by San Francisco Giants former ace Tim Lincecum against the weak-hitting San Diego Padres. Lincecum used to be a strikeout guy. The goofy motion and hair with a devastating fastball made him one of the more notable young guns when he won back-to-back Cy Young Awards. The days of dominance are long gone, but back-to-back seasons with no-hitters is still impressive.

The Red Sox were on the West Coast last week and the season continued to jump off the tracks. Seven games out west and starting today back for three more in New York against the Yankees. Going 2-5 on a trip they needed to go 5-2 on at worst to start crawling back into the American League East race. The Red Sox sit 7 games under .500 and 7.5 games behind the Blue Jays and a ton of teams between them and the playoffs.

Dustin Pedroia continues to struggle mightily batting just .265 with only 4 home runs and 27 RBIs and just a .338 OBP and an abysmal .377 Slugging Percentage (per baseball-reference.com). David Ortiz is hitting .265 batting average but he is the only player on the team with double-digit home runs.  I am not saying the team is horrible this season at the plate this season but A.J. Pierzynski is second on the team with 31 RBIs. Shane Victorino was out with a hamstring injury and in the rehab has now been shut-down indefinitely with back issues.

 

For the Red Sox the problem is that they need to keep fans flocking to Fenway (and buying commemorative bricks, food, drinks, merchandise, fan club memberships, watching their cable network, etc) and unlike other markets the Fenway “Faithful” fall off in droves when the losing starts. Heck, 2012 is evidence of that after the 90 loss team played in a half-empty stadium almost the entire second-half of the season.

Blowing this team up completely is not an option for the current ownership group.  Maybe it is time to look to the Dodgers again for a Kemp/Ethier blockbuster deal maybe?

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Finally, the NBA Draft will be done by the time this is posted. My fingers are crossed that the Celtics still somehow deal their picks for Kevin Love right now.

OK, that’s all for this week. Have a great weekend!

Sports Friday with Hal: Lazy Summer Friday
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Baseball Red Sox Pawtucket Dodgers Tigers Royals MLB NFL ProFootballFocus.com

Happy Friday, Gabbers!

 

Busy one for me today...on the road for training at work so a couple quick hits. Besides, for someone who can accused of being emotionally distant, I sure dug deep the past two weeks for my  Don Zimmer tribute and my Father’s Day and sports. Heck, I’m spent.

 

NFL:

My (Twitter) buddy Steve Palazzolo at ProFootballFocus.com (OK, I doubt he knows who I am, but I enjoy his analytical articles) but he had a great piece this week examining where quarterbacks in the NFL throw the ball as far as distribution to receivers, backs, and tight ends (Link is here: https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2014/06/18/qbs-in-focus-pass-distribution/ - not sure if it is free content or subscription only).

 

Anyway, a couple of key points:

 

First while discussing throwing the ball to wide receivers:

 

“Tom Brady led the league with 473 passes to receivers detached from the formation”

and

“Ryan Tannehill with the highest percentage of his attempts in this area at 81.9%”.

 

Surprising considering how maligned the New England wide receivers were last season. That said, with tight end Rob Gronkowski and receiving running back Shane Vereen injured the ball had to go somewhere.

 

Also, is this an indication of how underrated Tannehill is leading the Dolphins attack or an indictment of Tannehill in recognition he throws short passes and has no help out of the backfield and at tight end?

 

When throwing to outside the numbers/sideline wide receivers:

 

“Tannehill led the way with 274 attempts to outside receivers.”

and

“Peyton Manning’s...29 touchdowns to outside receivers led the league.”

 

With age increasing and  no Eric Decker in Denver, is Manning going to replicate those numbers? I doubt it, but Denver does need to save some money for wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.  Remember, it was former head coach Josh McDaniels who wisely picked Thomas over Dez Bryant in the 2010 NFL Draft.  Denver is still reaping the rewards of that decision.

 

When it came to throwing to slot receivers, Palazzolo wrote:

 

“Most would probably expect Brady to lead the way in attempts to the slot, but it was Drew Brees’ 214 attempts that paced the league while Sam Bradford and Andrew Luck led with 37.3% of their passes targeting the slot (includes all players lined up in slot).”

 

I think this is more about having limited production out of Danny Amendola and having to move wide receiver Julian Edelman all over the field to get favorable match-ups with such limited options after injuries wracked the squad in the second half of the season.  Ditto for Andrew Luck in Indianapolis with Reggie Wayne injured and T.Y. Hilton moved all over the formation.

 

With throwing passes to running backs, obviously having Darren Sproles helped this and the Saints will have a hard time replacing Sproles this season:

 

“Brees leads this group as well with a league-high 197 attempts and 1243 yards on throws to running backs.”

Also,

“16 of Matthew Stafford’s league-leading 58 drops came from running backs.”

and

Cam Newton benefitted from a league-high 11.3 YAC per completion on passes to running backs out of the backfield.”

while

“Tannehill threw to running backs out of the backfield on only 10.4% of his passes, the lowest percentage in the league.”

 

For Tannehill, the running backs were terrible runners and worse receivers, so he cannot be blamed there.  For Stafford, Reggie Bush was supposed to be the remedy to the passing game, so seeing the backs averaging a drop per game is hideous. Cam Newton had better find his running backs in 2014 in the passing game, because he has no receivers to throw the ball to in the passing game.


 

MLB:

 

Is there a more fun team to watch in 2014 than the Kansas City Royals? (OK, not for the gabbers with much love for the Detroit ballclub). Kansas City has streaked to first place on a winning streak and seem balanced and consistent on offense and in the rotation.

 

Kansas City took two games against the Yankees, two more against Terry Francona and the Indians, and then three more against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. For a team that was four games below .500 (26-30) on June 1, the Royals are are hot while the Tigers got cold. Detroit enjoyed a season-high seven-game lead on May 18, then dropped seven of eight to allow its American League Central challengers—the Royals included—to tread water or catch up.

 

A huge key to the Royals’ rise has been the apparent return of Eric Hosmer’s power. Hosmer slugged 17 homers in 159 games last year, pretty bad for a “power-hitting” first baseman. At the end of the day on June 6, Hosmer was hitting .260 BA/.300 OBP/.352 SLUGGING. Hosmer began to turn his season around on June 7, when he slugged a homer in an 8-4 win over the Yankees. He went deep again two days later and again on Sunday.

The Royals won the first two games of their four-game tilt with the Tigers by shelling Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. On Wednesday, left-hander Drew Smyly limited the visitors to two runs in seven innings of work. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Jeremy Guthrie outpitched him.

 

Kansas City gave its starter a quick 1-0 edge in the top of the first, when Eric Hosmer continued his hot hitting and picked up a one-out single, stole second, and scored on an infield hit from second base on an errant throw.

Smyly settled in after that, but Guthrie was in a groove. By the time the Tigers figured Guthrie out in the seventh, the Royals were up by two. The win was the Royals’ 10th in a row. That’s a sentence no one’s been able to type in two decades!

 

* * *

 

When play began on Wednesday, the Dodgers—thanks to Red Sox Beer and Chicken washout Josh Beckett—were the only major-league team that could boast about a no-hitter this year. That’s still true. Only now they have two of them, after the best pitcher in baseball, Clayton Kershaw, ripped through the Rockies in L.A..

 

The left-hander was perfect through the first six innings, retiring all 18 batters he faced. Ten of those 18 went down via the strikeout. And Kershaw had accomplished all of that on less than 80 pitches. With the Dodgers ahead 8-0 Kershaw took the mound in the seventh poised to keep on rolling. Moments later, two ground balls to the left side of the infield would define the game’s place in baseball history.

 

Corey Dickerson led off the top of the seventh with a slow chopper to short, soft enough that Hanley Ramirez needed to hurry, but hard enough to give him ample time to make the play. Ramirez fielded the ball cleanly, but his off-balance throw bounced wide of first base, beyond the reach of Adrian Gonzalez. The game was no longer perfect, but the no-hitter remained intact.

 

Two batters later, Troy Tulowitzki put it in jeopardy. Tulo hit a rocket down the third-base line where rookie Miguel Rojas was up to the task. Rojas preserved the no-no, and Kershaw took it the rest of the way. He struck out the next three batters he faced and did the same to Dickerson with two away in the last of the ninth. His final strikeout out was Kershaw’s 15th of the evening—a new career high—and it came on his 107th pitch.

 

Per BaseballProspectus.com, the slider that ended the game striking out Dickerson was the 31st throw by Kershaw, the 27th that went for a strike, and the 12th at which the Rockies swung  and missed.  Yes, the curve is his best pitch and his fastball is nasty. When he has all three working, Kershaw is...well, unhittable!

 

Most important from that win is that the Dodgers, now just four games behind the scuffling Giants, may still have ample time to repeat as National League West champs.

 

* * *

 

I will have “my” Father’s Day this weekend after a busy weekend last week that saw us visiting the parental units and my wife busy, busy with work.  I figured I already had my Father’s Day with our trip to Pawtucket, RI for the PawSox on Sunday June 8th when we got to see Joey Votto on rehab, former Yankees starter Chien Ming Wang, and former Cubs closer Carlos Marmol for the Louisville Bats (Reds minor league team).  Great game. Saw prospect Mookie Betts, ate a hot dog (reasonably priced), had a few beers, and four box seats behind first base cost less than $50. God bless minor league baseball!

 

Carlos Marmol, wild as ever!: 

 

Mookie Betts, soon to be starting in centerfield in Boston:

 

 

Justin Henry, 2007 9th round pick by the Tigers now at Pawtucket. At 29 years old, the second baseman/outfielder/utility fielder is not likely to see the show, but these are the kind of players I root for the most: he is playing on pure love of the game at this point and a dream to one day make it--even for a cup of coffee--in the show. Not much power, some speed, versatility, and over 800 minor league games and counting without an MLB at bat...but I'm rooting hard for him. Good luck, Justin.

 

OK, that’s all I have this week so thanks as always for stopping by to read--yes, I still miss DVT over here too on Fridays ------->  but glad for his update last month and hope he stops by again soon. Glad he’s doing well. Stormin’Norman and Sully have been killing it next door at 2.0 so be sure to swing over and visit them as well today.

 

Have a great weekend, all!  

 
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