Tagged with "MLB"
Musings From The Hoodwood 1-13
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL College Football MLB

Greetings from the Hoodwood where the locals (Hoodwood is in Ohio by the way and their head coach is an alum of my beloved University of Cincinnati) are helping celebrate the national title win by the Buckeyes

College Football: The Bucks go Duck Hunting in Dallas

The finale was all that it purported to be. The Buckeyes and Ducks went head up for the title. Many pundits said that the Ducks depth would wear the Bucks down late but in a stunning reversal. The Bucks spotted the Ducks an early touchdown then roared back with 21 straight points behind the rugged running of Ezekiel Elliott to take a 21-10 halftime lead. The Bucks couldn’t put the Ducks away though the repeatedly drove deep into Oregon territory only to be stymied by puzzling turnovers. The Ducks couldn’t cash it in until Heisman winner Marcus Mariota found for a 70 yard touchdown tha almost got called back as the ball was dropped right at the goal line. But the Ducks were in the game and cut the lead to 21-20 after another turnover. But it was that man Elliott again steadied the Bucks and they drove back down field and Elliott finished the quarter with a score. The Ducks looked like a beaten team and couldn’t move the ball with any effectiveness and the Bucks just ground the Ducks into the AT&T Stadium turf and the scored the last 14 points of the game to finish off a 42-20 win. Elliot rushed for 246 yards and 4 scores. The Bucks were seeded 4th but in the end were #1. Urban Meyer now is an Ohio legend as he brought the Buckeyes their 6th national title and first since 2002. The loss was tough for the Heisman winner Marcus Mariota who may have been playing his final collegiate game, he was repeadtedly stopped from scoring in the red zone, they were turned away in the red zone a couple times late. All in all the College football playoff will now go into legend like the its pro football equalivent. If only they would play it on the open Saturday before the Super Bowl, it would be perfect.

NFL: Rex shuffin off to Buffalo???

Ive made no secret over the years for my disdain and dislike for Rex Ryan whom I consider a grinning jeering buffoon of a coach and was not surprised that he was given the hook after the Jets 4-12 season, but knowing the NFL owners propensity for wanting to make a splashy hire was sure that Ryan would land on his feet somewhere. I suspected that he would go Atlanta, a fairly big market where he would be the big personality in town not seen since Ted Turner. With a high powered offense already made there, his defensive leanings would be the perfect compliment. But Ryan stunned many by heading to Buffalo. Now make no mistake, I have a soft spot for Buffalo. Ive been to that proud blue collar city a number of times and enjoyed the football experience I had there with their down to earth and doggedly loyal fan base. I relished the playoff atmosphere in the mid 90’s when the Bills and Dolphins battled for a division title in the snow. But the choice of Ryan is all wrong, the Bills have a stout strong defense. Their punchy offense is what needs a real guru, and Ive never known a coach named Ryan to like defense. Rex’s daddy Buddy was allergic to offense, and shaggy  maned twin Rob is a defensive coach. The Bills hiring of Ryan is a puzzler and with EJ Manuel still struggling, their need for an offense is apparent

NFL: Power play in Denver puts Fox out

The Broncos abject failure in the divisional round against Indy had rammifications. John Fox whos .719 winning percentage was the best in Broncos history and the team agreed to part way. While the Broncos won 12 in the each of the last 3 years, and had won the AFC West each of the last four years (The Broncos like the Bengals made the playoff each of the last four season for the first time in each teams history)  they only made one Super Bowl where they were of course hammered by the Seahawks and aside from that season only won one other time in the playoffs and that was Tebow Time in 2011 against the Steelers. The Broncos lost to the Ravens in 2012 in double OT and were steamrolled by the upstart Colts. The galling thing was that they were beaten at home in the intimidating venue of Mile High.  It seems that Fox and head football poobah John Elway just didnt get along and that Fox's laid back attittude just didnt sit well with the uber intense Elway and that eventually laid the groundwork for his exit. Rumor has it that the Broncos will look hard at their offensive coordinator Adam Gase, Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles (who will likely get lots of interviews to satisfy the Rooney Rule) and Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn (who is on everyones short list) Fox will have his suitors no doubt, the Bears are reportedly interested and you can bet the Jets and Falcons will be interested.The wild card in this is if Peyton Manning will comeback for another season, but his poor performance now has an explanation. He had a torn quad which limited his mobility and throwing power. All in all, the Broncos look more like a team in flux than a team that had such Super aspirartions a couple years back.

 

Phat Dap

To Leah Still who got a bit of bad news as she still isn’t cancer free. Her fight continues, I hope all that read this column would say a little prayer for Leah who as the daughter of Bengals defensive player Devon Still captured the nations heart in their battle against the rare form of pediatric cancer. Her fight is everyones fight. Im damn sure that everyone has lost someone or knows someone who is battling cancer. Dap to little Leah, and my hope that she wins this fight

 

Head Slap

To Karl Hess, a college basketball ref who has officiated no fewer than six final fours and a national title game for a brainless comment.  Hess directed a comment toward Mit Shah via his twitter page “When I’m older I want to sit in your seat & watch your Egyptian ass ref a game.” Hess claims it was a statement made in jest but no one was laughing. Shah who is of Indian decent but was born in New Jersey and raised in Winston-Salem is the CEO of a hotel management company based in Atlanta Hess was terminated from working any further ACC games, was supposed to be working the Houston-Memphis AAC game this Saturday but has withdrawn working this game as well as having withdrawn from all SEC games he was scheduled to ref too. Refs are independent contractors and get jobs with conferences as they can get them. Which is why you often see the same refs at a host of games for different leagues. Hess has been in trouble with the ACC before after ejecting two NC State legend players from watching a game because they were “excessively demonstrating on several calls.” But had Hess left the stupid ethic comment out of the twitter comment, he would still have a job. To his credit Hess took full responsibility for his comments and actions Like our Hoodwood Coach Herman Edwards has said repeatedly “Don t Press Send!”

Quick Hits

Mariota is going to the pros, he aint fooling anyone

Kevin Garnett used to be my favorite player, that head butt just took him off my faves list

Did Oregon’s wideouts weed craving cost them the title?

Brady and company shined against the Ravens, Harbaugh looked like a whiner

Is this the end for Peyton

No, Dez didn’t hold on to the ball

Another playoff failure for Romo and I couldn’t be happierA

Baseball got it right with its hall of fame class.

Ill add some more soon.

Until next post fellow sports fans…

Sunday Musings #181
Category: User Showcase
Tags: NFL CollegeFootball WNBA BostonCeltics MLB PedroMartinez CollegeBasketball HighSchoolBasketball Olympics

 

 

While wondering if we should just start preparing for corruption trials revolving around the 2024 Boston Summer Olympics bid now...

 

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter - @TheOneTrueJay

If you missed my two blogs from earlier in the week you can check them out below.

I don't write a lot of single topic posts, but I thought this piece on Florida State and their enabling football coach Jimbo Fisher came out quite nicely.

And check out my Mid-Week Basketball Update blog too.

 

BOSTON BIDS FOR 2024 SUMMER OLYMPICS

I was going to write a nice little piece about the looming disaster that is the Boston bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics. It was basically going to boil down to the idea that if the people behind the bid want it so bad, let them pay for it. And also, I'm not enthused about the notion, despite it being a decade off, of Boston effectively becoming a city under martial law as the Olympics are held.

There was going to be righteous indignation about the phallacy of the notion being forwarded by supporters of the bid that holding the Olympics would make Boston a "world-class city". 

Instead, I think I'll let the Friday January 9th, 2015 column by Boston Herald sports columnist Steve Buckley make my case for me.

To be crystal clear: I like the Olympics. I follow various events during each Olympiad and root for the US athletes to do well. But I do not want nor support having the Olympics held in Boston. And since Boston is the home or at least nominal home of some of the best sports teams, institutions of higher learning, restaurants, technology & medical firms, arts scene and much more, it is already a world class city and the Olympics will not change that status.

NFL

New England Patriots - The first half of last night's game against the Ravens started out inducing near pin drop silence in Gillette Stadium. Baltimore raced out to a 14-0 lead. If that wasn't bad enough, they did it in such a manner that it brought back memories of the playoff spanking the Ravens put on New England a few years back.

Thankfully, the Pats rebounded by tightening up their defense to stop the Ravens offense and tie things up at 14. But things fell apart at the end of the half for the Patriots. The Patriots had the ball with 2 minutes and 3 timeouts. It was the perfect set up for the Patriots to drive the field and pick up a score headed into halftime.

Great idea, at least until Tom Brady threw another ridiculously unexplainable interceptions. The pick led to the third Joe Flacco TD pass of the half as he hit tight end Owen Daniels in the back of the end zone. Instead of a Patriots lead, the Ravens had a 21-14 lead at the break.

When the Ravens extended their lead to 28-14 at the start of the third quarter, I have to say I was a bit worried. Then Tom Brady hit Gronkowski for a score and a fantastic trick play saw Julian Edelman hit Danny Amendola for a 51 yard scoring strike to tie things up.

The Ravens got a field goal but the Patriots answered with a Brandon LaFell TD to take a 35-31 lead. Joe Flacco got picked off in the end zone to give the Patriots the ball with 1:39 in the game. But they had to punt the ball and a Hail Mary from Flacco came damn close to shocking everyone before falling to the ground as the Patriots celebrated going onto the AFC title game.

Besides that bad interception, Tom Brady had a solid game. He threw for 367 yards and 3 TDs. He also got sacked twice. He ran for a TD as well. (see below)

On a day when the run game was held to just 14 yards total, they needed the aerial corps to step up. Gronkowski had 108 yards receiving to go with his TD. Danny Amendola (see below) caught 5 passes for 81 yards and two scores. Julian Edelman caught a team high 8 passes and had that TD pass to Amendola.

The defense didn't generate much of a pass rush, failing to sack Joe Flacco, but they did pick him off twice and recovered a fumble. Their run defense left something to be desired (Baltimore's Justin Forsett ran for 129 yards), but they seemed to find just the right times to stop the Ravens when they ABSOLUTELY had to. Jamie Collins (below) had a team high 8 tackles with 3 assists.

It was a nailbiter game for sure, but the win was a great relief and to have it come in such a hard fought and exciting way makes it that much sweeter.

In other NFL related news, former Dallas Cowboy player and Denver Broncos coach Dan Reeves talked about playing in the Ice Bowl in this interview on TheMMQB.com

Sports Illustrated ran a lengthy story on John Elway online (it appears in the January 12th cover dated print issue) as Elway looks to bring the Denver Broncos to a new round of glory days.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The national championship game between Oregon and Ohio State is tomorrow night. And I'm still going with Oregon finally winning a game when it counts. But based off of what the Buckeyes have done in their last two games, I have to say that I really have no confidence in my prediction.

In off the field news, former Boston College and North Carolina State coach Tom O'Brien announced his retirement from coaching after a 40 year career. He spent the last two seasons as the associate head coach for offense and tight ends coach at Virginia. He's the all-time record holder for wins as a coach at Boston College. I liked the guy when he was at BC and kept track of how his NC State teams did from time to time. You can read more about his career HERE.

BOSTON CELTICS

The Celtics made a solid accounting for themselves in their mid-week matchup against the New Jersey Nets.

In their 89-81 victory, the had just 6 turnovers for the entire game while forcing 17 of them by New Jersey. Their ability to hold on to the ball has been a factor (one of many, I know) in the team's lack of success this season. While I don't expect them to always have games with this low amount of turnovers, the more they don't give the ball away, the better it will be for them.

Avery Bradley (below) scored 21 points to lead Boston's offense while Tyler Zeller added 18 points and 6 boards. Evan Turner had 6 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.

On Friday, the Celtics traded Brandan Wright to Phoenix. You can see the details of what they got in return HERE.

Jeff Green was pulled from the lineup on Friday night before the game when a trade was pending to send him to Memphis. Surprisingly enough, the Celtics were competitive against the Indiana Pacers. Avery Bradley hit a 3 pointer to tie the game and send it to overtime. But the Celtics couldn't finish the job and dropped to 12-22 with their 107-103 loss.

Bradley had 23 points in the game while Evan Turner added 9 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists. Brandon Bass scored 17 points.

Last night, the Celtics ended up dropped another game, losing to the Toronto Raptors 109-96. The loss leaves them at 12-23. Boston started out strong in the first quarter but lost control in the 2nd and 3rd quarters.

Kelly Olynyk (pictured below) had 23 points to lead the Celtics. Avery Bradley added 17 and Jared Sullinger had a double double with 13 points and 10 boards.

BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this week. And while they are certainly deserving and I don't mean to slight their forthcoming induction, the final elected inductee is what this year's ceremony will be all about for me.

HELL YEAH, Pedro Martinez is a Hall of Famer! Of course, anyone who follows the game knows he was a lock for the honor, but the confirmation is nice. I'm a huge fan of his from his Red Sox days obviously. I've seen a lot of the best pitchers during my time watching baseball, but Martinez was something really special. He is definitely one of the most dominant pitchers I ever saw.

And given the stuff he's said in interviews after his election, his induction speech is sure to be a memorable one. Plus I can't wait to see if his Hall of Fame plaque reflects his old jheri curl hairstyle. He said he wants it on there because he had during the best part of his career.

By the way, I know everyone has their favorite candidates who didn't get in so let me just add my two picks to the mix. I think Lee Smith and Curt Schilling should be in the Hall of Fame too.

WNBA

In what has to be one of the weirdest bits of news I can recall in a long time, the New York Liberty have hired Bill Laimbeer as their new coach. He replaces Bill Laimbeer, who was let go after two unsuccessful seasons.

Yes, you read that right. They re-hired the guy they fired just a few months ago. While everyone is saying the "correct" things, it didn't take long for fans to suggest the hiring came about because no one else wanted the job.

I don't know if that is true or not, but given the almost complete radio silence surrounding the search for a new coach, I wouldn't dismiss this idea out of hand. After all, the team is owned by James Dolan, the same guy who owns the New York Knicks and let them slide into being a joke of a franchise.

While Laimbeer is only the coach this time around instead of the GM as well, both management and the coach seem to point towards him still having a big say in personnel decisions.

For me, this is good news because I think Laimbeer is great for the WNBA and I didn't think two years was long enough to build a serious title contender with the Liberty. With Laimbeer back on the job, if the mistakes made the first time around are corrected, I think he can start to see better results with the team. 

Plus this means Katie Smith will definitely be back as an assistant coach!

You can read more about the story HERE.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Catholic University - Amber didn't play in the team's game vs. Goucher on Thursday night, but the Cardinals did go on to win their 5th straight game by the final score of 57-52.

On Saturday they played Drew and came away with an 81-69 victory (6th in row) to raise their record to 11-4 (5-1 conference). Once again, Amber didn't play in the game.

Hartford - The team announced on Friday that redshirt junior Katie Roth has ended her injury plagued playing career. You can read about it HERE.

On Saturday afternoon, the Hawks hosted Maine. Amber Bepko (pictured below) scored 18 points but it wasn't enough to stop the Black Bears, who ended up winning 68-57. The loss puts the Hawks at 8-9 on the season. Cherelle Moore added 12 points and 6 boards. Deanna Mayza had 7 assists but turned the ball over 8 times, which as you might expect is not a good thing for any player much less your point guard.

Missouri State - The Bears kept things close in their game with Wichita State on Friday night, but the Shockers pulled away late and picked up the 71-59 victory. The loss drops Missouri State to 4-10 (1-2 MVC).

Kenzie Williams scored 18 points to lead the Bears, while both NiJay Gaines and Tyonna Snow had 12 points.

Tennessee LADY VOLS - Tennessee picked up their 9th win in a row by blowing out Texas A&M on Thursday night 81-58. The win raises their record to 13-2 with a 3-0 SEC record. 

The Lady Vols committed just 8 turnovers in the game and shot a season high 52.4% from the floor for the game. They got a season high 21 points from Isabelle Harrison and she (pictured below) also grabbed 8 rebounds.

Cierra Burdick (shown below 1st) had 14 points and 11 boards with Ariel Massengale adding 14 points of her own. Jordan Reynolds (shown 2nd) finished with 7 points and 6 assists.

 

By the way, you can check out this Yahoo! Sports article on Andraya Carter. It talks about how the player known for her defense has been giving the team a lift by providing more offense.

Boston College Women - The Eagles led by 1 point at half-time in their back and forth game against Georgia Tech on Thursday night, but they couldn't hold on to the lead in the 2nd half and went on to lose 80-77. The loss drops them to 8-7 on the season.

Nicole Boudreau (pictured below) scored a team high 21 points while grabbing 6 rebounds and adding 3 assists to lead the Eagles.

Kelly Hughes (shown below 1st) had 18 points, 4 assists and 4 steals. Ashley Kelsick added 13 points and Emilee Daley (shown 2nd) scored 12 points in a career high 33 minutes of action. Karima Gabriel (shown 3rd) hit for 9 points and grabbed 5 boards.

You can see video highlights and Coach Erik Johnson's post game press conference below.

Boston College Men - The Eagles had a chance to tie the game with 8.9 seconds left in regulation but missed the shot and ended up losing to Miami yesterday. The final score was 60-56. The team is now 7-7 overall and 0-2 in ACC play.

Olivier Hanlan (shown below 1st) had 19 points to lead BC. Eddie Odio (shown 2nd) scored a career high 13 points and grabbed a team high 8 rebounds.

 

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

One quick note before I do the basketball roundups: On Saturday at the Division 5 State track relays, my former player Rachel was part of the ORR 4x800 team that came in fourth at the meet.

Sturgis East Girls Varsity - The Storm got their first win of the season on Thursday night when they beat Sturgis West 42-37. Isabella scored 1 point in the game and made two photos in the Cape Cod Times photo gallery that was posted online. She's in the deep background on the far left of the first picture and getting fouled in the second picture.

I'm tentatively planning to go see Isabella play next week and I'll write about it next Sunday.

 

Upper Cape Girls Varsity - The Rams rolled to 8-0 with their 53-26 victory over Bristol Aggie on Friday night. They are 4-0 in conference play. Michaela had 3 points in the game.

Bristol-Plymouth Girls Varsity - Savahna's team got blown out again on Thursday night. This time it was a 69-43 loss to Old Colony. While it wouldn't have made too much of a difference in the final score, B-P did miss 8 of their 16 free throws in the game. But the biggest problem for them seems to be their inability to hold on to the ball. They had 33 turnovers in the game.

They played better on Friday night against Southeastern Regional Tech, but still ended up on the losing side of a 41-34 decision. This drops them to 2-7 overall.

Bishop Stang Boys Varsity - The Spartans dropped their conference opener to Bishop Feehan 77-63. Jake had 14 points in the game but the team is now 5-2 on the season.

Wareham Boys Varsity - The Vikings beat Case 88-54 on Friday to give their head coach his 300th career win. Josh had 2 points in the game while another ex-player of mine, Ashantay, got called up from the JV team and scored 3 points.

(Photo by Adam K. Ellis of the Wareham Courier)

There wasn't much time to linger on celebrating the milestone (his father coached the Wareham boys for 25 years and won 404 games by the way) as the team played Cardinal Spellman yesterday afternoon. The game turned into victory #301 for the coach as they beat Spellman 72-62. Josh had 1 point in the game as the Vikings improved to 7-3 overall.

Wareham Girls Varsity - The Vikings traveled to play Case Saturday afternoon. One person told me it was kind of an ugly game, but Wareham came out with a 43-39 victory. Gabby and Tieyanna scored 14 points apiece to lead Wareham's offense. Erica added 4 points. Wareham is now 6-5 on the season. I believe I'm going to their home game on Tuesday night.

MISCELLANEOUS

Music - So far this year, I've lined up three CDs to review for KNAC.com. Once the albums are released, I'll be reviewing U.D.O.'s Decadent, The Scorpions' Return To Forever and Europe's War of Kings.

  

While those are in the pipeline, I thought I'd share this Marc Gunn song "The Jedi Drinking Song Prequel". It's actually quite hilarious and follows up "The Jedi Drinking Song" track he was a part of in the duo The Brobdingnagian Bards.

Books - I finished reading the David Baldacci thriller The Target this week. It is the most recent paperback in his Will Robie series. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good read, but it seemed a bit convoluted. The story didn't seem to flow quite as easily from one plot point to another as naturally as it did in the first two books in the series.

Movies - I went to see the movie Taken 3 yesterday. It is being billed as the final film in the franchise. If it does go that way, it was a decent enough way to wrap things up. However, the movie was missing any real sense of tension that you got in the first two movies. I say this because the plot was significantly altered from how they structured things the first two times around. I gave it a 7 out of 10 overall.

TV - A brief trailer for the second half of the 5th season of The Walking Dead was released on Friday. You can check it out below.

Weekly Grumble with IHM 1/9
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: MLB NFL HOF NBA

  Hello folks, and welcome to this week’s Grumble. Due to pulling the ol’ switcheroo with the Beeze last week, it’s been a full eleven days since I last came your way… and we’ve seen a whole hell of a lot happen in that time! Needless to say, there is a whole lot rattling around in this ol’ noggin of mine, so let’s get right to it!

  I’ll start in a place I haven’t started in for a long time now… the NBA! Why? Because the Detroit Pistons are suddenly the hottest team in the Association, winners of 7 straight… and not just over their fellow “sisters of the poor”, either. When the team sat at 5-23, Stan Van Gundy decided it was time for a change. Frankly, they were unwatchable… just an incohesive, disinterested bunch giving a half assed effort the majority of the time… led in that effort by Josh Smith, who repeatedly clashed with coach Van Gundy on the bench and at practice. Well, SVG had enough… and he put the axe to J-Smoove, possibly the worst contract Joe Dumars signed any player to during his tenure as GM, and this team has responded in a big way! Not only are they winning games, they are running teams out of the gym. The seven game winning streak is their first such streak since the 2008-09 season… winning games against San Antonio and Dallas on the annual Texas two-step trip? Hasn’t happened since the 1996-97 season; or before Duncan or Dirk were NBA players! They are actually a lot of fun to watch now, and playing a brand of team basketball reminiscent of the surprise championship team of 2004. Maybe not that good… but you can see potential here where there was absolutely NONE when Josh Smith was in town.

  Up next for the Pistons, a game against the surprising 27-8 Atlanta Hawks tonight at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Another big test for this seven game streak, which gained legitimacy after back to back wins in Texas. We’ll see how the upstart Pistons fare against the Southeast Division leaders. Who would have thought that this would be must see TV before the NBA season started? And by the way, just by getting to a 12-23 record, the Pistons are 2 ½ games out of the 8 seed in the East. Yikes.

  The obvious story I am probably expected to address this week is the situation that occurred last weekend in Dallas… the picked up flag that “cost the Lions the game” according to some. I’ve commented a few times on this already this week, but I’ll do it again here: There is NO reason for the Detroit Lions to blame officiating for losing to the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday. Frankly, I think they lost to Dallas back on December 28th… when they lost for a 23rd year in a row in Green Bay, Wisconsin. If you beat the Packers and win your division, you not only host a playoff game but you get home field advantage. The Lions failed at that, and they predictably failed again the next week in Dallas. I was called the "Worst Lions Fan Ever" on Facebook earlier this week for having that opinion... so I'll take that name and run with it!

  I don’t deny that the call was a big factor in that game. Did it swing momentum a bit? Yes. Did it swing momentum a LOT? Yes. But so did only scoring six points in the second half. So did the ten yard shank punt that occurred on the next play from scrimmage. So did giving up a 4th and 6 pass right up the gut to the combo of Romo and Whitten. So did Matt Stafford’s two fumbles on the final drive… in which the Lions could have won the football game but failed to perform. Face it Lions fans… your team lost that game. They didn’t “get screwed”… the freaking lost. Get over your little persecution complexes; get over your “us vs. them” mentality, your team lost a football game they should have won. No disrespect to Dallas or Dallas fans… but when you lead 17-7 at halftime, if you are any form of a good football team you win the damn game.

  As for the teams that are actually still playing, I’ll take Green Bay over Dallas, the Colts over the Broncos, the Patriots over the Ravens, and the Seahawks over the Panthers this weekend.

  This week also saw the reveal of four new inductees for the MLB Hall of Fame. First ballot inductees included Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and John Smoltz while Craig Biggio was elected in his second year of eligibility. Notable misses included Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell, Fred McGriff, and of course noted steroid users such as Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Kent, and Sheffield. But as usual, the conversation stems around who didn’t make it just as much as around those who did.

  Over the years, those of you who have read my blogs know my stance on PEDs. It was an absolute disgrace to the game, and I have railed against anybody associated with it with extreme prejudice. But, I have realized over the past year or so that we really do need to just get past that. Steroids were a huge part of the game of baseball from the late 80’s until the mid-2000’s. Many of the game’s best used, many of them were hall of fame talents before they started using. Bonds was on his way to the Hall before he allegedly started using during his time in San Francisco. Clemens was well on his way to the Hall before he allegedly started using in New York…  maybe before… who knows. The point is, why keep excluding these players? They were a part of the game’s history, whether that part of the game’s history was pretty or not. There is no way of knowing whether or not a guy truly did use unless he got caught red handed… and there is no real way to measure what that guy would have done with/without the use of PEDs. At this point, the best course of action is to simply judge by the numbers and give this never ending argument a rest.

  Another issue that has come up is the voting process its self. A voter can have up to ten players on their ballot… but the question is why. Why limit the number of guys someone can vote for? Why not just go by the simple mantra of “is he a Hall of Famer, or isn’t he” as opposed to “if I don’t vote for this guy this year, will he be on the ballot next year”? It should be cut and dry… not how many years has the guy been on the ballot… not “Babe Ruth didn’t get 100% of the vote, so this guy shouldn’t either”. If a guy is a fucking Hall of Famer, vote for him. If not, don’t. It’s not that complicated… it isn’t rocket science… it’s baseball!

  In 2016, Ken Griffey, Jr. hits the ballot for the first time. If anyone doesn’t vote for him, they should be publically shamed and stripped of their damn voting rights. Griffey should be the first 100% vote, he is an absolute no doubter.

  In terms of eligible players, I will give you my ballot for next year based on who is eligible. If a guy is in his first year, I’ll put an “N” after his name:

Ken Griffey, Jr. (N), Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Lee Smith, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Gary Sheffield, Jeff Kent, Trevor Hoffman (N), Carlos Delgado.

  14 players, the majority of which were holdovers because somehow the BBWAA thinks it owns some sort of moral high ground over guys who “allegedly” used steroids. The same BBWAA who has the policy of “if Babe Ruth didn’t get 100%, nobody gets 100%”.

  For 2017, the field narrows again because all of the old steroid era holdovers are now gone and off the ballot. New additions to the ballot include Vlad Guerrero, Ivan Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez; all of whom get my vote.

  2018, same deal… the new guys get the votes and we don’t see ridiculous wait times for deserving candidates. New candidates that year include Omar Vizquel, Jamie Moyer, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Johan Santana, Johnny Damon, Chris Carpenter, Scott Rolen, Jim Thome, Kerry Wood and Carlos Lee. Now if that list doesn’t make you feel old, I don’t know what will!

 And just FYI, of that list, I vote for Thome, Chipper, and Vizquel. Vizquel you ask… the guy has 2,800 hits, 400+ steals, and 11 career Gold Gloves… including 9 straight… in what is arguably the most important fielding position in baseball, short stop. And he won them over big names like Ripken Jr., Alex Rodriguez, and Derek Jeter.

  After missing last season and the majority of the season before, Alex Rodriguez is technically eligible for the HOF in 2019… assuming he doesn’t play a game this year. The second he does he puts his candidacy off another five years! 2019 includes the likes of Mariano Rivera, Todd Helton, Miguel Tejada, Andy Pettite, Roy Halladay, and Lance Berkman. And again, FYI, the only one of that bunch I vote for is Mariano Rivera… the rest fall just short of being legit HOFers in my eyes.

  Not to be outdone, the Pro Football Hall of Fame released their list of 15 finalists yesterday. The list includes:

Charles Haley: 5-time Super Bowl champ with 100 career sacks… he’s got my vote.

Morten Andersen: The kicker for the HOF’s all-80’s and all-90’s teams, and the NFL’s career leader in points scored at 2,544 and games played at 388. He’s a kicker… but he’s possibly the best damn kicker in league history this side of Vinateri! I’d give him a vote.

Jerome Bettiss: The 6th leading rusher in NFL history, “the Bus” needs to make his way to Canton, Ohio this late summer!

Tim Brown: 1,094 catches, nearly 15,000 receiving yards, 80 TDs, and a great return man. That’s a yes for me.

Don Coryell: An innovator on the offensive side of the ball… a long overdue yes for me.

Terrell Davis: A great player, great story,  but only for a very short period of time. Three years of dominance doesn’t do it for me, that’s a no.

Tony Dungy: Only one Super Bowl win as a coach… he was good, but not great. No vote for me.

Kevin Greene: 5th round pick that went on to record 160 career sacks, good for third all-time. Member of the 1990’s all decade team. That’s a yes for me.

Marvin Harrison: 1,100 catches for over 14,000 yards and 128 career TDs. He ranks 3rd, 7th, and 5th all-time respectively. Made 8 straight trips to the Pro Bowl. Yes for sure.

Jimmy Johnson: Coach who built the 1990’s Cowboy roster with Jerry Jones as the GM… yeah. The guy was the architect, and he deserves to be honored as such. Yes vote for me.

John Lynch: Feared hitter and a guy who played a solid safety in the NFL for a long time, but not quite a Hall of Famer in my eyes. No.

Orlando Pace: Best LT of his era, definite yes vote.

Will Shields: 12 straight Pro Bowls don’t lie… the guy was one of the best in the league for a long time. Yes vote for me.

Junior Seau: Defensive playmaker that was a Pro Bowler 12 straight years, a first team All-Pro six times, and a member of the 1990’s all-decade team. For sure a yes, tragic that he won’t be there to see it.

Kurt Warner: Great story, but this one had a happier ending than TD’s did. Warner went from bagging groceries to league MVP.. then fell off the face of the earth… only to have another run of success in Arizona to close his career out. Through it all, he managed 32,000 passing yards, 208 TDs, a Super Bowl win in St.Louis, and a pair of near misses with St.Louis and Arizona. I honestly wouldn’t be very upset either way with this one… but to me, the guy is in. Just his story alone is Hall of Fame material.

  So what is your take on all of this, Gabbers? Be sure to let me know on the way out. Thanks as always for reading, and have a great weekend!

QOTD - 1/9/15 Tags: MLB Cooking

Once again, a two parter:  

1.  Does Mike Piazza belong in the MLB Hall of Fame?

2.  Anybody got any good recipes for an early weekend in January?

OH Thursday
Category: FEATURED
Tags: New Year NFL Playoffs MLB HOF

 

Hello gabbers, hope you had a great Holiday season to finish up 2014.

We had some great family time as I previously discussed in this space.

This year end presented some challenges for us as a family. My neighbor Roger passed away right after Thanksgiving, my Aunt Gladys passed away on Christmas Eve and then on the day before New Years Eve, my wife was doing her neighborly duty checking on the older folks on the street when she found our neighbor Tom not breathing on his kitchen floor with his companion and super dog looking over him. Tom had taken his trash out to his garage...(I take his trash and recycling to the street but he insists that he will bring it to his garage door and he lets me take it from there) The EMT said he had passed away about two hours earlier. Tom was 80. He was our neighbor for the past 20 years, a good friend and almost a family member. We shared many a cold beverage on my deck or his, we solved many of the world problems in our chat sessions. His closest family lived 500 miles away so he treated us like we were his family. When we moved into the neighborhood 20 years ago it was Tom that greeted us and introduced us to the rest of the residents. Tom was the only person in the neighborhood that I called by his given name. No nickname would have fit. I was 42 when we moved in, Tom was 60. I can remember him scolding me when I complained about not wanting to count birthdays when I was turning 45. “David, you count every damn one of them birthdays and thank the Good Lord that you have each and every one of them”

This is advice that I have repeated more than once to younger men than I.

Thank you Tom, for the wisdom in those words and for the years of true friendship.

 

NFL Playoffs:

 

Wildcard weekend is in the books and all but one game ended as I thought.

I really thought the Steelers were going to win at home on Saturday but the Ravens stepped it up a notch to playoff mode and took it to them. The Steelers big weakness showed it’s ugly head. The secondary is pedestrian at best. Polamalu is slow in pass coverage, CB’s Gay and McCain are often out of position and don’t work well together, Mike Mitchell and Will Allen are weak in coverage.

The Ravens draw the Patriots this Saturday and present the toughest match up possible for Tom Brady and Co. The Ravens have won 2 of the last 3 playoff games with the Pats. This Patriot team has a much better defense than those teams and a much better secondary than the Steelers. Revis, Browner, McCourty and Chung pose a much tougher task for Flacco…and has a healthy Gronk who is a match up nightmare.

 I’m staying with the home town team to beat Baltimore 34-23.

 

The Colts will be heading to Denver for another Luck/ Peyton match up after Andy Dalton and Marvin Lewis did what we thought they would because they are who we thought they were. I see the revamped Denver running game and solid secondary being the differences Sunday night in a 38-30 Broncos win to set up another Brady/ Manning AFC championship match in Foxboro.

 

The Lions had a 20-7 lead slip away to the Cowboys in the second half and it will be Dallas heading to Green Bay on the weekend. Rogers has had 2 weeks to get comfy with his sore leg and he’ll need it. The Packers need to play great defense against the well balanced Cowboys offense. Murray can and will run for 100+ yards in this one and Dez Bryant can and will get open vs the Packers DB’s. My hunch is the Packers take a late FG win 30-27 and are on to Seattle.

 

The Panthers beat an overmatched Arizona Cardinal team, injuries to skill players hurt more in a playoff atmosphere. Carson Palmer could have led this team to a playoff bye. Ariens did a COY job with this team. The 8-8-1 Panthers head to the land of the 12th Man. Cam Newton and Co have righted the ship and beat a team not in the NFC South in a playoff game. The ship runs aground in Seattle as the defending NFL champs get to defend the NFC title at home. Final: Seahawks 16 Carolina 3

 

Rest peacefully Stuart Scott. Dying at the age of 49 after a long battle with cancer, Scott was by all accounts a regular good guy.

 

Congratulations to Pedro Martinez ,

Randy Johnson and John Smoltz for their first ballot selection to MLB’s  HOF and congrats to Craig Biggio for gaining the votes needed to join this worthy group in the 2015 selection.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments, don't forget to check out Lanz over there to my right

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