Tagged with "MLB"
Sports Friday with Hal: Madness in March
Category: FEATURED
Tags: College Basketball NFL Football Spygate free agency MLB Baseball Boston Red Sox Spring Training

Happy Friday!  I know I am excited for a weekend of March Madness!

 

The final week of winter has passed and in the Northeast and with that spring beckons. The green grass of infields, ballpark hot dogs, overpriced watered down beer, and sunshine seems far away, so close.  

 

Of course, March Madness is kicking off right now with two of the craziest days in college basketball (wishing I called out of work for some quality time with the couch, beer, and college basketball).  I will admit, my attention span waned on college basketball this winter. This year I was too caught up in the NFL all off-season and over-extended myself a bit with time commitments.

 

NFL NOTES:

 

The mad first week of free agency is over and the signings are just trickling in slowly now. The battle for bargains is in place. The big signing on Thursday saw Atlanta overpay for a kick returner (Devin Hester).  At 31, a three year deal for nine million dollars is a lot. Yes, the Bears had stuck him at wide receiver and cornerback in the past, but he is a pure special teams player.

 

I love how the New York Jets have had to put on a media dog-and-pony show to deal with the incessant criticism over their lack of activity in free agency despite a boatload of cap space. Their big news is that Michael Vick may come in and...well, what exactly? Cornerback Antonio Cromartie just signed in Arizona where he will team with Patrick Peterson to make a dynamic one-two punch. All the top corners are gone and there are no great quarterbacks available in free agency.

 

The Jets now are thinking about Vick to allow them to release Mark Sanchez and free up another $10 million in cap space they won’t spend? The best line by Ryan may have been about how his cornerbacks went from obscenely talented (Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie) in 2011 to...well nothing. Ryan said a lot of stuff about first round pick Dee Milliner and bust Kyle Wilson as part of his media show. But this line is just for the Patriots fans to make them smile:

“And there’s another guy, Ras-I Dowling, a guy that we really thought a lot of. . . . I’m happy with the guys that we have.”

Yup, the one and only Ras-I Dowling. From Revis to Ras-I...nice work, New York.

 

The highest profile free agent left is Jared Allen and he appears to be close to going to Seattle. Adding Allen would make an elite defense even stronger. Initially there were some frantic tweets  that he had signed, but now it appears Allen will decide this weekend.

 

Finally, an interesting note from a piece on the Brandon Spikes and Aqib Talib bad-mouthing the Patriots on the way out the door about reporting injuries. Mike Florio of NBC Sports/ProFootballTalk had this in his article on Thursday:

Over the years, we’ve developed the distinct impression that the NFL prefers to avoid shining too bright of a light on the irregularities of the injury-reporting system.  The procedure is aimed at creating the impression that there’s no inside information to be obtained by gamblers.  Obsessing over the various violations of the letter and/or the spirit of the rules would serve only to highlight that, indeed, the truth doesn’t reside on a piece of paper filled out by the team — and that it can possibly be obtained by offering small, green, rectangular sheets of paper to persons who are in position to pass along accurate information about who’s really injured, and who really isn’t.

The involvement of the Patriots serves only to complicate matters for the league.  As legend has it, the Spygate-related information given to the NFL by the Patriots that was destroyed by the league office consisted of evidence of cheating not only by the Patriots but also by multiple other teams in multiple other ways.  As the folklore also goes, Patriots coach Bill Belichick vowed to go public with chapter-and-verse detail about cheating throughout the league if the league were to mess with the Patriots again.

Wow. I would have loved to have seen Belichick roll out the tape on all the other NFL teams that were also “guilty” of “spying”. Damn, that would have been fun to see.

 

FAST BALLS:

I had my first fantasy baseball draft Thursday night as well.  I am really cutting down on the fantasy sports. I am in a hockey league that I have been negligent of and probably won’t return to next year; I had an even dozen NFL fantasy football leagues that was just a bit too much for me and needs to be cut down; this year I am in only three fantasy baseball leagues and have made a point to keep it at that number. Of course, one of them is the Gab league as I have to make up for my terrible performance last season.

 

Still, baseball is in the front of my mind. It keeps calling to me more and more each day. I already got some bleacher seats for the end of April at Fenway for cheap (well, the wife got them for me).  Did not get to Fenway the last two years, but am excited to get back there at a more reasonable price. The last two years the wife and I have dragged the kids to minor league baseball as there are great local products in Pawtucket (AAA Red Sox affiliate) and the Collegiate Summer League team the Brockton Rox.  Paying MLB prices for tickets, parking, food, drink, driving (gas money) and/or riding the rails, etc has killed a lot of the joy, and for a family of four it is an afternoon ballgame for the price of a vacation.

 

I have been following the Red Sox preseason games trying to get as many looks at the young arms that should be on display in AAA Pawtucket this summer. Drake Britton and Brandon Workman look like they are in position to start the season in the bullpen, but it may be in their best interest to be stretched out starting in Pawtucket. That said, there may not be room in the rotation.

 

Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster came to the Red Sox from the Dodgers when the Sox fleeced them by unloading Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Adrian Gonzalez. Both had opportunities for a stretch in Boston but need polishing. De La Rosa looks like a better fit in the bullpen and Webster had some rough starts in Boston but has a lot of promise.

 

Matt Barnes, Anthony Ranaudo, and Henry Owens are all starters who may be called on to step up during the season if need be for a spot start or due to an injury. The trio has been flying up the minor league system and all project to be starting in Fenway in the near future. Barnes is the 2011 first round draft pick from UConn with a major league fastball and but has to polish his off-speed stuff. Owens is a big lefty who was also a 2011 first round pick with a mid-90s fastball and devastating change-up. He projects to be a solid starter. Finally Ranaudo is the most interesting case. He fell off the prospect watch after injuries slowed him in 2012. He bounced back with a big 2013 that saw him land in AAA. Still only 24, he could be in Boston by the end of the season.

 

OK, that’s all I have for today. Enjoy the March Madness and have a great weekend!

 

I'm Just Saying.....
Category: User Showcase
Tags: MLB Spring Training Philip Stephen Martelli MLB Steroids Carmelo Anthony Michigan State New NCCA Lawsuit

I’m Just Saying…..

 

I would like MLB to change the format of Spring Training. Let them start camp like they always do, even start playing spring games as normal. But, on the third week of spring training games, teams in the grapefruit league should visit teams in the cactus league for a week, then return back to Florida and resume games amongst each other. The following year the cactus league could then go to the grapefruit league for a week, and then alternate years. This would give fans from both states who actually live there the opportunity to see teams they wouldn’t normally see in person.


Watch out college coaches…There is a new kid on the block, his name is Philip Stephen Martelli, and he might be looking for your job someday.

This is just priceless. I’m just glad CBS showed the human side of college basketball, and what makes it so special.


I was reading a magazine that had articles on conspiracies in sports, and one article which got my attention was the MLB steroid conspiracy. Now if you read my blogs in the past, I personally don’t care what a player does with his body. The reason behind it, is because I always believed it was baseball players, managers, sports agents, general managers, owners and even the commissioner who allowed steroid use after the strike of 1994. Or so I thought. In those days steroids were legal in MLB but illegal elsewhere. Steroids were banned by MLB in 2004. So if baseball allowed it back then shouldn’t McGwire and Sosa be allowed into the HOF? They did play by the rules of MLB….


Gee all of a sudden Carmelo Anthony is willing to change his game if Phil Jackson believes he has to do so to win a championship. Why should he change now. He couldn’t play defensive for Syracuse under Boehiem, and he sure hasn’t played any for Denver or New York. I kind of think its to late to teach an old dog new tricks.


I know its not easy when your stadium holds 110,000 - 115,000 per game, but you have to give credit to Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon for not scumming to bring alcohol to the Big House. Can you image all the $$$‘s that would have been generated if he allowed it. But the downside was the nightmare that could ensue if you had 60,000 drunken fans around a lot of young people, let alone the possibilities of underage children getting alcohol.


Sports labor attorney Jeffrey Kessler, on behalf of a group of college football and basketball players, filed an antitrust claim against the NCAA. Jeffrey is arguing that the association has unlawfully capped player compensation at the value of an athletic scholarship. There is no monetary fines for the lawsuit, just change the compensation players get. "The main objective is to strike down permanently the restrictions that prevent athletes in Division I basketball and the top tier of college football from being fairly compensated for the billions of dollars in revenues that they help generate," Kessler said.

Now we have debated this at the Gab, and while most of you agree, players should be compensated. I ask you how much more compensation should they receive? Scholarships aren’t cheap. I will say players should receive food vouchers while they are practicing and from the beginning of when the football or basketball season starts to when it ends.

Do we also increase scholarships for baseball. Most college baseball players only get half a scholarship because there are only 15 scholarships to be given out. Is that fair? NO. What about track and field, softball, tennis, lacrosse?? Golf, cross country, swimming and diving?? All of them are just as worthy as the football and basketball players.

If athletes are going to get compensated then it should be for all sports athletes, or none should be.

 

Til Next Time

Scott

 

 

O H Thursday
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB Revis Bruins March Madness texting

 

Oh Thursday

Oh those Bruins!!!

The Boston Bruins have now won 10 straight…that’s right hockey fans, 10-0-0

And clearly the best of the East. They even are in the conversation for best in the league with the St Louis Blues

 

I had planned on getting a full breakdown done for my MLB predictions but time hasn’t allowed that.  Life has been busy at the new job going full speed ahead. And I must admit, I’m not as into the start of the MLB season as I was a couple of weeks back.

Maybe it’s just the cold weather is lingering on and dampening my enthusiasm. It was 10 degrees when I left the house Tuesday morning warming up into the high 30s, Wednesday saw the mid 40s and today it may just creep up to 50…a damp and dreary 50 that is.

I’m not positive but I vaguely remember the beautiful Mrsharry working on her tan last March…Where is the Spring? Who took it? Al Gore, you don’t know anything…global this!

 

Here is the promised win predictions for the upcoming MLB season

AL

East

Boston        95       NY             92      

Central

Detroit           100

West

Texas               94    Oakland           92

Playoff matchups

WC game Oakland at New York

Texas at Boston

WC at Detroit

 

NL

East

Washington        98   Atlanta                94

Central

St Louis               90

West

Dodgers               93   San Fran               90

Playoff matchups

WC   San Fran at Atlanta

St Louis at Los Angeles

WC at Washington

 

Troublesome thoughts:

The oldharry mind is trying to put the world events into some sort of order, a lot of things are troubling to me:

The Crimean/ Ukraine/ Russia situation has put the US military on alert…I have children serving in the US military…Read in any emotion at this point.

Secretary of State, John “the mourning dove” Kerry had these slamming scary words for Putin yesterday,

“ What you have done is not in line with how civilized people should act…the repercussions for this illegal action will be…sanctions…”

The warning signs of Russia's actions were visible three years ago, Mitt Romney warned about this two years ago...the administration ignored this right along and now can't do anything about it...troubling indeed.

The missing 777 is troubling, lack of viable information from Malaysia is troubling. No wreckage, no sign of a safe landing. The 777 makes for a large bomb an Israeli agent said recently. “Israel is on alert. How far can you fly at 640 mph with 6 hours of fuel?

What has or will become of the 227 passengers with valid passports…troubling indeed.

 

Texting while driving has become my pet peeve of the week. I pull up behind a stopped car at a red light. The light turns green but yet the car in front of me doesn’t move…I lightly tap on my horn but still no move. The guy behind me blares on his horn and still no reaction. The light turns yellow and then red again. I put my window down and yell, “hey, stop texting and drive or get off the road!” The driver still doesn’t react. The light turns green and the now 5 cars behind me start tooting their horns. I got out and walked up to the window of the car and there is this guy, about 30 years old texting away…I tap his window and he, startled by the tap, shoots thru the intersection. Idiot.

I was sitting back there stereotyping thinking it was a young woman driver…wrong, idiots take all shapes and sizes.

 

I went to a local bank to cash a small check from one of my neighbors who insists I take payment for doing neighborly things like shoveling the driveway etc. I don’t bank at this particular establishment so they asked me to produce 2 forms of picture ID. I gave her my driver’s license and my CSL. She scoured them and looked at me several times and compared my signatures. Then she looked at the $30 check and checked the endorsement to the signature on file. She then told me the signature on the check didn’t match the one on file so she would have to contact the signee. She asked me if I was a homeowner and upon me saying yes handed me a flyer of the Banks many benefits and programs to look at while she made the call. A few minutes later she returned and took $30 from the drawer and said, “you see how we protect our depositors, would you like to take advantage of this service by opening an account with us today?”

 

I said politely, “no I don’t want to open an account with you but I would like my identifications that you put in the drawer back”

 

Does cashing a check have to be such a hassle? Next time I’ll just deposit it in my bank…but I did need the cash, I hate plastic.

 

Happy thoughts…

 

March Madness starts soon…do you have your brackets done yet?

As usual the New England Area has little or no chance to capture the NCAA crown but we will put forth an effort with our 4 teams, Harvard, Providence College, U Conn and U Mass.

 

Grady Sizemore looks like a 25 year old in Red Sox Spring training. I wonder how long he holds up.

 

The local beer store was unloading Sam Adams Summer Ale as I drove by…at least the local brewery has the right idea.

 

Darelle Revis said he’s happy to be a Patriot. Brandon Browner says he’s happy to be a Patriot. Julian Edelman says he’s happy to be back home with the Patriots. Brandon La Fell is very happy to be one of the guys to catch passes from Tom Brady and TB12 will be very happy to have more hands on deck this season…Vince Wilfork says he will be happy to play out the last year of his Patriots contract but he won’t restructure…so release me if you won’t pay me.

 

Closing thoughts:

 

Today is the first day of spring and I’m sure that under the graying snow in my yard there are daffodils ready to burst forth…but the forecast for Monday next is 23 degrees by day and single digits by night…

 

Don’t forget to stop next door and check out Lanz and his talking sports column.

Talking Sports
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: MLB NFL NHL

 

Crazy Crazy Sunday it was little league tryouts at the High School Gym and the towns basketball leagues Pizza Party. Several guys are on both boards and coach in both so there was a lot of running back and forth with set ups clean ups and evaluations. Lil Lanz had to try out at 8:30 so I whiched than went over to the civic center help se up for a pizza party for 800 kids in two sessions and back to the gym to evaluate players for my senior league Red Sox team which are 13,14,15,and 16 year olds. I noticed I was a little late for all of it. I forget to set my watch a head. I still made it. Just a crazy day.

We are in the deldroums of sports purgatory sure the NFL is going wild with free  agent signings I mean the Denver Broncos are going wild with signings. It looks like John Elway is going for gold now. I think he recognizes Peyton has a short life span and it’s time to win. The Broncos were hurting on defense but that just got a whole lot better with giving Aquim Talib 6 years and 57 million and then getting Demarcus Murray. On Offense the may loose both Decker and Moreno but there are plenty of guys to fill those roles. Denver is taking a win now approach and I like it.

The Patriots will need some major help in the secondary and a pass rusher. It didn;t take long for them to replaceTalib withDarelle Revis signed a 1 year deal for 12 million dollars . This will help greatly Revis needs to pass his physical but they sepped up from Talib and if they cut or restructure Vince Wilfork. I’m hoping Wilfork is willing to restructure his contract. Wilfork is still one of the better no se tackles in the league even at less than 100%. The Patriots also need some weapons around Brady a Tight end and a tall quick receiver. It looks like Danny Amendola is going to stick around and Julian Edelman is testing the market but may return or may not.

MLB

Francesco Rodriguez took the cactus league one step further after stepping on cactus barefoot. He will miss a couple of spring training starts. Lucky for Francesco there are only lil cactuses on peoples desks in Milwakuee.

NHL

Rich Paverily of Dallas Stars collapsed on the bench Monday. Paverly who has had some heart problems was ok but is out for the season and maybe for ever, Just hit a little to close to Reggie Lewis. Paverly will play it smart I hope

Some sad news from the OHL Saginaw Spirits minor league Hockey Team they cut 20 Year Old Terry Trafford om March3rd. He disappeared for 8 days before Michigan State Police found his body on  Tuesday. A very sad and tragic story condolences to his family.

Lil Warriors Report

Last weekend the boys were off this weekend starting tonight lil Lanz has a regular league game . They play in a non league tourney for the weekend at least 3 games. They have 2 regular season games left after tonight all in all they have played 50 games and have had over 100 practices since September

They are currently in 4th place but have the most wins and ties in the conference

 

O H Thursday
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB NFL Aqib Revis Broncos

  

Got news:

My intentions were to have a breakdown of the AL Central and AL West teams this week but life got in the way and diminished my research time. Here is the AL Central.

I hope to get the AL West and the National league done before the season starts. At the very least I’ll give you my predictions for the season.

 

Some other things going on in the world, A missing jet with 239 people on board including 2 Iranians with stolen passports…reports out their suggest the jet could be in Teheran right now, the 777 will go 630+ mph and had enough fuel to make it to Iran without passing over land….we shall find out but maybe not to soon.

 

A cat, a 22 lb Himalayan attacked his host family after an 8 month old pulled his tail.

He cornered the frightened family in a back bedroom, the brave dad called…911 for a rescue. He did tell the dispatcher that the pet had a history of violence. Cat was probably a middle child.

 

Oh is a victim of Obamacare…My family policy doesn’t line up with the requirements of the government federal health program. I need new insurance by May 1st. I’m in search of a plan that doesn’t comply with the socialism being crammed up our asses.

 

A good friend of mine passed away after a long bout with leukemia, Ed, a school teacher, was just 62. May Ed rest peacefully and pain free with his Creator

 

The Winter has been tough up here in the Northeast, everything has taken a beating my Silverado included. I hit a large pothole on the way home from work Tuesday and broke the right leaf spring shackle it was a little rusty from it’s 10 years on the road but thanks to two of my great sons, it looks like new now.

 

The Denver Bronco’s are off to a fast and furious start in NFL free agency…they signed former Pats corner Aqib Talib for an unbelievable 6 years 57 million with 26 million guaranteed. This was about double the offer from the frugal Pats.

And now it looks like the Patriots are going to replace him with a guy named Darelle Revis

 

The AL Central preview.

Detroit The Tigers made some off season moves that baffled some and impressed others.

OH was totally baffled by the move of Doug Fister to Washington for some moving parts.

Fister could have been kept for relatively short money and his presence as a 4th or 5th starter shows the depth of this Tigers rotation.

The move to pu Nathan as a closer was a good one. He may not be the fix for years to come but he will be solid for two years and that at the back end of games is important especially with Cy Young award winner Matt Scherzer’s inability to go 9.

Anabel Sanchez and Verlander will love having a closer at the end rather than watching Al Albuquerque and Benoit play trick or treat with their leads. Moving Prince Fielder along was a good move; his beached whale impersonations at first were embarrassing even to the casual observer. The bats are good the defense will be better. Detroit already has the best rotation in the AL and the bullpen is improved. What will stop this team from winning it all? At first glance I see a Central division winner with 100 wins and a rematch with the Red Sox to go to the WS.

 

Rotation

Matt Scherzer         21-3      2.90

Justin Verlander     13-12     3.46

Anibel Sanchez      14-8       2.57

Drew Smiley            6-0.      2.37

Rick Porcello           13-8     4.37

 

Cleveland 

The Indians try to compete in a division that many have conceded to the Tigers. Second year manager Terry Francona will get the most of this group as he builds team chemistry towards respectability. Winning starts with starting pitchers is what Oldharry says and the Indians have some holes and question marks in theirs.

 

Justin Masterson       14-10          3.45

Corey Kluber             11-5           3.85

Zack McCallister         9-9           3.75

Dan Salazar                 2-3            3.12

Josh Tomlin         0-0    0.00    loook to be the most likely rotation with

Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco and John Axford trying to work their way into a starting roll.    The Indians will stay close in the wildcard fight but fall short in the end with 86 wins.

 

Kansas City Royals

The Royals have the potential to stay in a pennant race for a while but the will need injuries or an unexpected collapse from the Tigers to get close to the playoffs. An experienced rotation of:

James Shields           13-9        3.15

Bruce Chen                9-4         3.27

Jason Vargas              9-8         4.02

Jeremy Guthrie         15-12       4.04

And a couple of guys battling for the fifth spot

Dan Duffy                   2-0        1.85

Yordano Ventura        0-1         3.52

And Closer Greg Holland will make this a team not to be overlooked.

  

Chicago White Sox

With 3rd year Robin Ventura getting an undisclosed multi year contract after a 99 loss season things have to be looking up in Chicago. How much worse could it get.

The Sox return with one of the best young starters in MLB in Chris Sale and will try to build behind him. This team will need to find runs from somewhere during the season as this rotation won’t scare many teams. The additions of Jose Daniel Abreu and Adam Eaton may help. The reliever slated to take on the closing duties is Nate Jones….let’s see how that goes.

Chris Sale              11-14          3.07

Jose Quintana         9-7             3.51

John Danks             4-14           4.75

Eric Johnson            3-2            3.25

Andre Renzio           2-3            4.82

Felipe Paulino          -   -            -

 

Minnesota Twins

oops, those are the Brazilian Twins

I mean these twins

The Twins have the unfortunate circumstance of playing in a division with Detroit which immediately puts your team goals into playing for a wildcard slot with 7 other AL teams.

The Twins spent a load of money on questionable starting pitching and time will tell if this move backfires. Ricky Nolasco is getting $49 mill for 4 years, Phil Hughes is getting $23 million for 3 after a dismal 4-14 5.19 year in NY. The Twins have also put in a big offer to free agent Ervin Santana although the O’s seem to be the front runner in the “overpay Ervin” sweepstakes.

Rotation

Rick Nolasco             13-11        3.70

Kevin Correia              9-13        4.18

Phil Hughes                 4-14        5.19

Kyle Gibson                 2-4          5.63

Sam Deduno                 8-8          3.83

Mike Pelfry                  5-13        5.19

 

How the Central will shake out in oldharrys world

Detroit           100- 62

Cleveland        88- 74

Kansas City     86- 76

Chicago           78-  84

Minnesota        75-  87

that's all for this week, thanks for the visit and comments

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