Tagged with "MLB"
Talking Sports
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL Training Camp MLB Commish

Has the NFL gone soft over the past couple of years? The trend that teams now practice together all week before an exhibition game oh sorry I mean a preseasongame just seems wrong. I get it from a fan point of view that it’s pretty cool to go to an open training camp session and see the opponents defense or offens workout against your teams offense or defense. I even get it that by this point in camp playrs want to hit something other than the guy that’s lined up against them for the past couple of weeks. Yes, I get it honestly I do.

Why, play the game at all? Other than the home team gets the gate and these minigames or joint practices are free why bother playing the games. Let’s face it’s a breeding ground for injury, This week the Patriots are in Virginia to play none other than the Cavaliers or the Hokies wait I’m sorry I have that wrong I mean they are playing the dare I say it the Washington Professional Football Franchise. Otherwise known as the here it comes read over this part the REDSKINS. The Patriots did the smar thing leaving Rob Gronkowski home. I would have left Tom Brady there as well ditto for Vince Wilfork. Of course the commish would have ben pissed and probably given them affine and suspended Bill Belichick for more games than Ray Rice for not putting the best team on the field. According to several Patriots beat guys at the joint practice Brady has been a beast in these practice sessions tearing up the REDSKINS secondary...

Going back to the original question I guess it’s all a little too friendly for me. Your practice together for a few days than you beat the crap other of each other in a game that unless your bubble guy and need to prove yourself nobody takes seriously. Maybe the answer is just practice together an skip the games everybody goes into the regular season at nearly 100% charge a nominal fee for the practices over 4days to make up the gate money lost for not having the preseason games instead of full price as part of a season ticket holder package. Just a thought that they will never go for.

 

Baseball

The board of somebody or other will be voting on Bud Selig’s replacement sometime in the next week. The candidates are drum roll please. Bob Manfred MLB’s COO , Tom Brosnan MLB’s executive VP of Business operations. And Boston Red Sox  owner and Mork and Mindy producer Tom Werner. Werner probably more for his TV connections than his ability to lead. Brosnan is the guy that keeps the business end going. Mamfred is the guy most likely or at least he seems to be the front runner according to a few in the media including ESPN’s Jason Stark who says Manford is to Selig as Adam Silver was to David Stern.

This is a chance for baseball to get progressive and maybe get a few changes or ideas in the game. Sort of like Roger Goodell did in the NFL. Than again if Roger keeps restricting defenses maybe the joint practice will replace regular season games. Manford will probably keep baseball on a steady keel as has been over the past several years keeping revenues up and not doing much else to put his on stamp on the game. Werner and Brosnan are more business guys Werner would probably do some good stuffas far as TV goes using his network connections and I believe that’s the only reason is name is in the race. I don’t think he is the right guy for the job. Brosnan is probably just the business guy and will get overlooked.

 

Baseball really isn’t going outside the box on this one. We will see who they vote in.next Thursday.

 

Zebra Tales

I umpired an over 30 mens baseball league game last Sunday other than guys whinning more than little leaguers, they didn’t give me or my partner too much shit it was fun. The game started with one of the Hispanic players bringing in both teams and both umpires for a prayer at home plate. He did in Spanish. I’m not a deeply religious guy but I thought it was very cool.

 

The gentleman who lead the prayer played professionally at the AA level another gentleman also Hispanic played at AAA and you could tell they were far above the rest of the talent on the field. I also never saw two guys having more fun playing baseball than these two guys just smiling and laughing and doing some coaching as well to their teammates.

The AAA guy was funny he is pitching and he throw hard so somebody on the other team asked him if he still can throw 90. The guy says yes but I don’t have against you guys. He was at bat later in the game; he proceeded to tell the catcher exactly what he was going to do. He says I’m going to drive a single to left, steal second on you than steal third, and come home on another hit. He ended up popping out and laughing so hard when he did so he just looked back at the catcher and pointed and laughed. It was just fun to see the passion and people just having fun playing ball.

Lil Lanz and I over the weekend were at a local Hockey store buying new skates at a huge tent sale the store was having. We get the skates and we where waiting to get them sharpened along with what seemed like the rest of North Shore of Massachusetts. They had an olde Tyme Hockey game on from the early 80's  on flat screen while we were waiting it was the Flyers and the Islanders Pete Peters was the goalie for the Flyers and he is laying in the net hurtwhile the trainer is attending to him the rest of the guys are in an old fashioned dony brook beating the snot out of eachother how times have changed.

Lanz and the boys are off for the weekend on another MLB trip destination and details to come next week.

OH Thursday, with Shorty
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL MLB Pre season

  

“Another day in the City, what a freaking grind just for another dollar”

That was one of my father’s lines when he would walk thru the door at the end of the dayafter driving home from the City.

It was usually followed by “hey Marge what’s for supper? And grab me a cold beer…………..please dear”

Fields corner in Bostons' Dorchester neighborhood, this is where my Dad is originaly from.

Sully has family from here as well...that's why we sometimes call each other cuz

My Dad was an avid yet critical Red Sox fan.

At the age of 7 in 1959 I saw my first game at Fenway. I was in awe and later learned that I saw Ted Williams play.  Thru the 1960’s I must have been to Fenway a hundred times with Dad, my brother and buddies.

Dad would not ever see the Red Sox reach the promised land as his death pre dated the 2004 championship by 15 years. He would call these guys today a bunch of prima donnas a bunch of overpaid babies.

Fenway in the 60's ready for the Patriots                       Same view today

I remember him telling me that Ted Williams was a war hero and he was getting paid $100,000.00 to play a game for a little over half a year and he was the only player worth it. None of these other ball players would ever be worth that kind of scratch. They called it scratch back then because you had to scratch your way along the straight and narrow and scratch for every thing you had.

If my Dad saw the contracts of today’s players… two hundred million for 5 or 6 years of playing a game he would have been cursing.

here is pilot Ted

The Red Sox were traders at this year’s deadline.

I’m coming to terms with that.

Former Patriots TE and now mid day sports radio talk show host Christian Fauria laid out the 8 steps to recovery on his show last week.

Most of his co hosts and callers were angry and shocked that the Red Sox traded away 4/5 of their starting rotation and other pieces. Fauria told them to calm down and listen because there was hope for each of them…nobody need to jump of the Tobin

be aware of where you are along the eight steps:

1.shock and anger

2.depression

3.slight up tick

4.reluctance to talking about it

5. measured acceptance

6. acceptance

7.guarded optimism

8.getting back on the bus

A week removed I’m currently hovering around 3,4 and 5…I go back and forth.

This is baseball and you can’t tank for Andrew Wiggins or suck for Luck to get a good draft pick…MLB doesn’t work that way. You have to build from scouting, low A, AA, AAA and try to manage these kids, keep them out of trouble and keep them healthy so someday they can be a productive member of the Major league team.

The Red Sox won the WS last year and finished 5th the year before. They are destined to finish last again this year. This isn’t the Florida Marlins…or is it?

Opening day rotation                            Today’s rotation

Jon Lester          (Oak)                         Clay Buchholz (highest ERA in MLB)

John Lackey       (St. Louis)                  Brandon Workman  maybe a 4-5

Clay Buchholz                                     Ruby Delarosa   needs work

Jake Peavey          (San Fran)               Alan Webster   needs control

Felix Dubront       (Chicago)                  Joe Kelly  100mph but where's the plate

Brandon Workman                               Anthony Ranaudo just a kid but bright future

 

Only time will tell…and heal the wounds of we Red Sox fans that are spoiled by the 3 championships of ’04, ’07 and ’13. But as Mo pionted out Monday and Radatz on Sunday, we are a spoiled and greedy bunch.

Maybe this team of young guys will be fun to watch…maybe they will play hard and maybe they will win…games and the hearts of the fans…again

Is this step six?

 

ON to the NFL... the North divisions

 

AFC North, last season final records

Cincinnati                  11-5           3-3

Pittsburgh                    8-8            4-2

Baltimore                     8-8            3-3

Cleveland                    4-12          2-4

 

Cincinnati defends the division championship with Andy Dalton playing with a new contract (6 years 115 million) . AJ Green is a stud, Gio Bernard wants the ball on every down in every situation. Geno Atkins has been taken off the PUP list and hopes to lead the Bengal’s D. How good are they…Shorty says they could make the playoffs.

Pittsburgh is coming off an 8-8 season and Ben Rothlesburger still has a big arm. Bens arm is almost as big as his two main receiving weapons 5-10 Antonio Brown and 5-9 Lance Moore. Heath Miller is back at TE and Le’Veon Bell at RB. Ex Patriot LeGarrette Blount is ready to take every carry available and pound defenders by running over them. Blount is a workhorse, listed at 6-1 and 250 but 250 is without lunch and dinner for a week.  I like the Steelers, and Shorty sees them winning this division.

Baltimore took a step back last season and could fall further. Joe Flacco gets paid like an elite but is not. He has all the weapons at receiver and TE and has a stable of RB’s behind him and hopefully an improving O Line but Joe has to step up and be the man. The defense will play well but this division has no gimmys anymore. The Ravens have a brutal schedule with the week 11 bye. The schedule looks like this: Cin,  Pitts, @ Cleve, Carolina, @ Indy, @Tampa Bay, Atlanta, @ Cin,  @Pitts and Tenn. Playoffs? Doubt that.

Cleveland made headlines in the off season with the drafting of Johnny Manziel late in the first round. Brian Hoyer will most probably be the starting QB for the Browns and with Gordon not expected to win his appeal it will be the Browns defense that carries this team in’14. The other first round pick,  CBJustin Gilbert will play opposite Joe Haden and make this defensive backfield good.

But shorty says not good enough to be even dreaming of the playoffs.

Shorty’s picks

Pittsburgh           11-5

Cincinnati           10-6

Cleveland             7-9

Baltimore            6-10

 

 

NFC North

Final standings ‘13

Green Bay               8-7-1                             3-2-1

Chicago                     8-8                                 2-4

Detroit                       7-9                                  4-2

Minnesota                 5-10-1                           2-3-1

 

Green Bay won this division with Aaron Rodgers watching 7 games. Healthy, Rodgers is the best QB in the NFL today, giant arm and can throw on the run and he has WR’s Jordy Nelson  and Randall Cobb just waiting for him. Lacy and Starks will carry the ball and this team will score with anyone.  This defense should be improved over the one that surrendered 26 ppg in ’13. Shorty likes the Pack to win the division.

Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall has declared that Jay Cutler would be the NFL MVP in 2014. Shorty doesn’t agree. The Bears did score a load of points in ’13, only Denver and New England scored more offensive points. Aiston Jeffery and Marshall both were over 1000 yds and combined for 189 catches and can be a nightmare for defensive backs but sometimes Cutler makes bad decisions and the ball doesn’t go where it should. He isn’t a disciplined as the elite passers ( Brees, Rodgers, Brady and Peyton Manning) and can’t be included in this bunch. MVP? No I doubt it very much, playoffs??? Just maybe squeek in.

Detroit the big tease. The Lions took a TE with the 10th overall pick and book ended their frustrating draft by taking a kicker at 229. The need was on defense, and they didn’t really address that. Calvin Johnson is the best receiver on the planet, Golden Tate is a nice complementary player as long as there is a sideline to escape to. Pettigrew is a decent TE and why draft Eric Ebron we will never know. Stafford can heave the ball for a load of yards by sending it in the direction of Johnson…easiest play in the NFL. Stafford will easily surpass 4,500 yards but 19 Ints will be the downfall of this team.

Shorty has the Lions out of the money again.

Minnesota will stage a QB battle to see which guy, veteran Matt Cassell or rookie Teddy Bridgewater gets to hand off to Adrian Peterson. Norv Turner’s job is easy. The WR’s, Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson, Jarius Wright and Jerome Simpson will be asked to block down field and will get rewarded with an occasional pass their way. This defense gave up 30 ppg last season and that won’t get it done. Sorry Vikings fans. Shorty says nah.

The NFC North will play the AFC East and the NFC South

Shorty’s picks

Green Bay        11-5

Chicago             9-7

Detroit              6-10

Minnesota        6-10

 

Next week the AFC West and the NFC West and the post season Shorty picks.

thanks for the visit and I'll take a page out of Jeff's book here with some parting humor

Bill Cosby said,

I sometimes wonder if clouds look down at people and say

"hey Jerry, look at that one over there...it kinda looks like an idiot"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Musings From The Hoodwood 8-5
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NBA NFL MLB

                                                                                                   Junior wins and is cleaning up the track too!

Greetings From the Hoodwood where it just seems like things are a little unhinged.

Now normally, I would have all sorts of hyperbole and hype here, but I am having some pc issues. So right now, you will get the condensed version that will be added to today. Please accept my apologies.

NBA: The nightmare scenario

By now you’ve likely seen the gruesome injury that Pacers superstar and leading scorer Paul George suffered this past weekend. I won’t do anything gross like show a replay, but the reactionary mentality of some talking head is laughably nauseating. The fact that NBA players have been competing internationally for the past 22 years and this is the first major injury that has happened should dissuade those that are saying that this is proof positive that NBA players should not be playing in the these tournaments. So what if this had happened 2 months from now in a meaningless preseason game in Muncie? What if the injury had happened in a charity event? Mark Cuban has been extremely vocal on his dislike of using pro players for international competition and has advocated using under 23 players for World Cup, Olympic competition and other international events. I think his position is based purely on self-serving interests. Cuban is merely voicing what the other less locaquious owners want to say. They want a piece of the action in this international tourney, they would rather say help stage an international tourney like the World Cup and be in control of it or at the very least get some sort of cut for their players playing in it. Unlike soccer where the national team players get paid and get bonus money for playing in the World Cup, players on the national basketball team aren’t paid. Now the Pacers have insurance that they will likely use to offset the loss of George this season and the money that they have to pay him. They will likely also get a salary cap exemption from the NBA but they have dropped from and Eastern Conference title contender to also ran. Remember that Lance Stephenson bolted for Charlotte last month. Which leaves the Pacers with Roy Hibbert as their centerpiece this year…oy vey.

NFL: Dalton gets paid…is it worth it?

Since Hoodwood is close to Cincinnati, I have had an interesting view of the machinations going on with the pro football team of the area re-signing Andy Dalton to a lengthy contract. The Bengals inked the 4th year quarterback to a contract that could be worth up to $115 million. Now I have to admit that when I first heard about this. I wanted to break out the Picard meme asking rhetorically “what the fuck is this man?” But the more I look at the deal and the way it’s structured, the Bengals might be looking rather smart. The contract gives Dalton 2 more years with incentives that will pay him $25 million  but it has opt and boosts that if Dalton plays bad in the next two years the Bengals can jettison him with little financial hardship. If he plays good, the contract keeps paying out, with financial flexibility that will make Dalton the 4th highest paid QB in the game. This keeps the Bengals franchise tag clear, which might be used on his favorite target AJ Green who will be looking to make (well deserved) Megatron money here soon. The detractors are numerous and loud, pointing to Daltons 4-8 record against the Bengals main rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh and his 0-3 record in the playoffs which none were close and Dalton made critical errors in all of them. Dalton to his credit has stepped up to try to be the face and voice of the franchise and has played by and large very well during the season. He has more playoff starts than either Boomer Esiason or Carson Palmer. Has thrown for 80 TD’s in three seasons and has a respectable 30-18 record which is better than the much more ballyhooed Tony Romo who is 24-24 in the past 3 seasons with zero playoff appearances. But now the pressure ramps up on Dalton who has not parlayed regular season success to playoff success and it could be not only his fate but Marvin Lewis’s that hang in the balance for it.

Phat Dap

To Jim Kelly and Andre Reed who at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony hooked up for one last more pass. Reed who was inducted in the Hall this weekend spoke glowingly about his teammate who is battling cancer and Kelly was on hand to throw Reed a completion which they did some 664 times over their Hall of Fame Careers. Here’s to Reed for being part of a great hall class but to Kelly too who is taking the fight to cancer and I’m hoping is on hand for many more induction classes.

Head Slap

To Maryland basketball recruit Trayvon Reed that was arrested for shoplifting less than $6 of candy then compounded his stupidity by resisting arrest and breaking the hand of one of the officers trying arrest him. Now Reed is facing felony charges in addition to being dropped like a hot potato from Maryland’s recruiting class.  Slap to Reed for throwing away a bright future.

 

Quick Hits

Slump? What Slump Dale Jr. wins the Poconos again…he’s in the catbird seat for the big money title chase

Hey weren’t youse the World Champion Red Sox a few months ago…now a fire sale? Wow

David Wilson of the G-Men will have to call it quits due to a neck condition…that’s a crying shame.

Ray Guy made the football hall of fame…it’s about damn time

Tony Bosch of Biogenesis surrendered to the DEA..what secrets will he reveal?

I think Kirk Gibson is a punk for targeting Andrew McCutcheon with a “purpose pitch” he should be suspended

Ill add more as the day goes. Until Next Post Fellow Sports Fans

Red Sox on Sale
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: #bostonstrong mlb red sox

It’s been a sad couple of days in Red Sox Nation.  I know, I’m crying poormouth, because we don’t usually find ourselves on the selling list.  It’s almost as if 2013 didn’t happen – I mean what a great story: “Worst to First!” except no one ever talks about the “Worst to First to Worst again.”  Seems like someone made their deal with Mr. Scratch and it expired with the last out on October 31st.

How else to explain the near complete dismantling of the starting pitching staff: Felix Dubront, Jake Peavy, John Lackey, and Jon Lester.  Gone.  Jonny Gomes.  Gone.  This is not to say the Sox didn’t get some fine returns, but Lackey is under contract for $500,000 next year.  If nothing else, he’d be a solid #5 starter for that kind of money. 

The Sox have stocked their farm system over the last decade.  Cespedes, who comes back for Lester,  leads the league in outfield assists, paired up with Jackie Bradley who isn't too far off.  The other returns are solid 2-6 batters with great power and RBI production, combined with is multiple free agent pitchers (including Lester) for next year.  All the position players are under contract and the team salary number has been reduced so they can now dump money on pitchers in free agency.  It all makes a world of sense.  But it still hurts.

No one wants to call it a day.  No one wants to throw in the towel.  No one wants to say the season has been a waste.

But it has been.

It’s remarkable to me that just a few months removed from a world championship, the team that won it all has been dismantled.  And while heartening to read Jon Lester’s ad (although the cynic in me thinks the NVRQT shout out paid for the ad) and knowing Jonny Gomes carries with him a memento of his time in Boston on his back as well as his kind words about his time here makes the dismantling a little easier to bear, it still hurts. 

To top it off, the day after the fire sale, the Sox were playing the Yankees.  Yeah.  Ouch.  I know any Kansas City Royals fans, or Pittsburgh Pirates fans out there are just wailing and gnashing their teeth over this scuttled season in Boston, but it’s a story as old as professional baseball.  Joy and heartbreak.  Heartbreak and joy.  It’s just that it usually happens to other people.  Over the last ten years, the Red Sox have been unusually blessed.  Before that, during my lifetime, it was mostly heartbreak – so close, and yet fall short.  Throughout baseball history, worst to first stories are rare.  Rarer still are the first to worst stories.  In fact, the first 90 years of MLB saw not one team ever do it.  Over the last 25 years, 11 teams have done it with only the Twins ever winning it all before the Sox did it last year.  This happens because for the better part of that MLB history, worst meant finishing last in your league – or at least in one of the two divisions in your league.  Now, you have the opportunity to finish last in your division without truly being the worst.  The Padres, made the opposite trip: First to worst (1996-97) to (96-97) First.  That aside, no one makes the worst to first – winning it all – and back to worst.  No one.  Except the Red Sox.

In a way, that’s worse than not winning.  Sure, the glow of a freshly minted banner at Fenway lasted a few weeks, but after that – it was a tragic reminder of the 2014 season.

Does it suck to be a Red Sox fan?  No.  There’s a plan in place, there’s resources available.  This team will be back next season.  But next season is 8 months away.  Baseball is a long term race, but when your team is out by the trading deadline it’s a very long 8 months.

Inquiring Minds Want (Sports) Answers
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: MLB Mike Trout NFL Ray Rice Redskins

It’s that time again…when the sports news tickles the curiousity of fans everywhere leaving them wanting to know, “the rest of the story.”  For example, Inquiring Minds want to know…why Mike Trout was taking a leak while the ball was going over his head handing win to the Orioles this week?  You don’t think he could have caught that ball if he was in position?!  Well, take a look at this:

And Inquiring Minds want to know why “Slugger” Ray Rice received a standing ovation as he arrived on the field at the Ravens camp?  In today’s NFL, smoke some weed and you’re out 6 games or even a whole year, but KO your fiancé…two games.  So Inquiring Minds  want to know if “Charm City”  is some misnomer or is that the other Ray was involved in a murder, so a girlfriend beating didn’t seem so bad?

Inquiring Minds want to know – already- which Super Bowl team will be an early playoff flame-out or even a no-show?  It has been about 20 years since a team defended its title in the NFL…Inquiring Minds want to know whether Seattle can do it and whether Denver can get back to the Big Dance?  It says here that the NFC is too tough for even the Seahawks to repeat (and we already see the effect of egos).  Denver is one big hit to their QB of going to the head of the draft line…no soup for you, either.

And Inquiring Minds want to know why the so-called football experts will all pick the same teams to win their divisions and get back to the playoffs when it is a matter of history that HALF of those teams will not be in the playoffs in 2015?   The 2013 bracket lost 5 of the 12 teams in 2014…Inquiring Minds want to know who will not make the cut this season?   According to the Sun Tzu Crystal Ball (trademarked, by the way) Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Diego, Cincinnati and Carolina will be out…the ball is a little hazy at the moment as to who will take their place.

And finally, Inquiring Minds may want to know (a) will the Redskins ever change their name and (b) does anyone really care other than a few activists?  Well, if you pay attention to the guys who have the power – and that would be the Redskin owner and his Band of Brothers led by Goodell and his merry men,  it is never changing.  From my chair, it does not really make a big difference to me, one way or the other.  I personally would advocate changing the logo to either a (redskin) potato or a (redskin) peanut.  Nobody could complain about that!

Have a great Saturday!

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