Tagged with "Michael"
Deep Thoughts 2-13-2013
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Terry Francona Michael Bourn SF Giants ARod R.A. Dickey Wrestling



Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. I spent Tuesday night grilling at my son’s high school baseball field. One thing that I love about sports and baseball in particular is that with a new season, hope springs eternal. Spring brings a year of freshness or at least it does for me. January is the month that many look at new resolutions, but spring is that time when I see a new year begin to unfold. The news that pitchers and catchers report is the alert that another baseball season is on the horizon. Have you ever planned a big vacation? The anticipation and planning is sometimes almost as enjoyable as the reality of the trip. That is how spring training is for me. Baseball is in the air, you know the season is coming…but you have to wait for it. As I stood flipping burgers and dogs last night, I thought back to the past seasons and the wonderful times that I have had at the baseball field. My son is a senior now, and in a few short months, his high school career will be over. What I realized last night is that the ballpark will always be a special place for me. From T ball and beyond, there are memories that will never fade. So, while my son will be graduating, there will always be something to bring me back to the ballpark. The game remains the same, with memories waiting to be made.





Who do you like to win the World Series this year? Who did you think would win it last year? I bet your answer is not the Giants. The media predictably focuses on the flash of the big free agent signings and assume that those teams will achieve the most success. The “experts” like Detroit, Toronto and LA…both the Angels and Dodgers. These teams have spent money to bring talent into camp. I read an interesting quote today from Brandon Belt. I will paraphrase, but it was something like, “you can’t buy chemistry”…an obvious shot at the Dodgers. I also heard this quote, the Dodgers are the kind of team that can get a manager fired...very true. Head on a swivel, Mattingly! The cool thing about team sports is the team with the best talent does not always win. In looking at the Giants recent success, you have to look at GM Sabean and Manger Bochy. Sabean obviously understands the type of personalities necessary to fit the Giants. He has done a tremendous job of constructing a great team. Bruce Bochy says his team’s success is due to the players’ ability to execute fundamentals and their unselfish tendencies. The Giants were a group that cared about each other. They took responsibility for being a teammate and I think that this was the reason that they won another WS last year. I remember a conversation with my son’s high school coach last year. He said it was a pleasure to coach that group because “they liked each other so much”. The Giants are not dumb…they bring back 21 of their 25 players from last year’s championship team. Of course, Andres Torres is one of the four being added and he was a former Giant. He actually lobbied to return to the Giants. I would think that is the sign of a good organization. It is hard to believe that this was the team that Barry Bonds played for only a few years ago.







As a new season approaches, I love to take stock of the changes that have occurred in the off season. The most recent change was Michael Bourn signing with the Indians. I like this deal for Cleveland. I really think that the Indians will be better, but the starting pitching will still be a source of concern. Ubaldo Jimenez needs to rediscover his pitching prowess. If Jimenez can somehow be what he once was in Colorado, the Indians could make noise. I don’t think that they will challenge for the division, but they could battle for a wild card spot. I like Terry Francona and think that his influence will help the Indians as well. I also like Nick Swisher and think his personality will have a positive effect on the Cleveland locker room. I just heard that Dice K was lurking at spring training and that he might be signing a deal soon? I am not a Dice K fan, but maybe the change of scenery will be good? There was a interesting comment released on Tuesday from the DBacks catcher Miguel Montero. He said that Trevor Bauer came in to camp last year convinced that he had all the answers. Montero said it was impossible to get on the same page with Bauer because he would not listen to him or anyone else. So, he was traded. Perhaps Bauer is an arrogant rookie or maybe he knows what works best for him? The Indians certainly hope that the latter is true. Baseball has a way of ignoring innovations sometimes. Change in MLB has been described as glacial. Time will tell if Bauer is better than his 6.02 ERA, but either way, the Indians got him on the cheap. I have a hunch that Francona is a better match for Bauer than Gibson and he has a better year with the Indians.



 The MLB TV guys asked an interesting question Tuesday night. Which team led MLB last year in stolen bases? The answer blew me away. My guess was way wrong. Did you know that the Tigers have hired a personal base running coach for Austin Jackson? I have said before that I think Jackson is an important clog in the Tiger machine. I guess they expect Jackson to be busy this year…I agree. For what it’s worth, I think that the Tigers beat the Giants in the WS this year.


I saw that Alex Rodriguez was staying in New York to continue his rehab. Yeah, that makes sense. Staying in the winter of New York is much better than rehabbing in the sunshine of Tampa. Staying in New York is much better than heading to Florida and facing the music regarding Biogenesis. I am sure that his teammates won’t mind answering questions each day of spring training about Rodriguez. Distraction can be a good thing, right? One thing that will never be said about ARod is that he is unselfish. What a prick…


                                                                                 Alex loves Alex...







I caught this today. The article asked...was the Pope a better hitter than MJ? He starts slow, but actually takes a few good hacks. Of course MJ was matched up against 90 mph heaters...



Have you heard about the new show coming tonight on the MLB channel? It is called “The Next Knuckler” and will feature R.A. Dickey trying to teach 5 guys to throw a knuckleball. I guess it is not fair to characterize the participants as “guys”. Actually here is the list of former athletes: Doug Flutie, Josh Booty, John David Booty, David Greene and Ryan Perrilloux. Kevin Millar is hosting the show and I suspect it will entertaining. The winner of the competition will be invited to spring training with the DBacks. It is funny, but I have often wondered why more players don’t attempt to throw a knuckleball. I have not met a baseball player that has not messed with throwing it. In fact, R.A. Dickey was a position player that got to the majors and learned that he could not hit the pitching. There is less stress on the arm and you can throw the pitch at 50…good news for Flutie.



I read yesterday that wrestling is being dropped from the Olympics? The 2016 games in Rio de Janerio will be the last time the event will be part of the games. Golf and rugby are being added and something had to go. The modern pentathlon was considered, but wrestling got the boot instead. What the hell? No wrestling in the Olympics? Golf is being added? I have one question…why? I have nothing against golf, but the games are about sports like wrestling, not golf. Rugby is okay as well, but not instead of wrestling. Dumb, dumb, dumb…







That is all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey.


If you work on a lobster boat, sneaking up behind someone and pinching him is probably a joke that gets old real fast.


Whenever someone asks me to define love, I usually think for a minute, then I spin around and pin the guy’s arm behind his back. NOW who’s asking the questions?



Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…





Bourn Finds Identity With Indians
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Cleveland Indians Hot Stove Michael Bourn



Michael Bourn can finally claim to know exactly who he is again after the free agent outfielder officially signed with the Cleveland Indians on Monday. The 30-year-old Bourn signed a 4-year, $48 million deal with the Tribe, which includes a vesting option for a fifth season worth an additional $12 million.


Bourn was an All-Star in 2012 after hitting .274 with 9 home runs, 57 RBI, a .739 OPS, and 42 stolen bases for the Braves last season. His 6.0 bWAR was the highest of his career and many fans felt he was robbed of a Gold Glove award for his play in center field. Overall, Bourn is a career .272 hitter and has 276 total stolen bases.


The fleet footed outfielder was one of the top free agents on the market this winter, but floated out there on the market for quite a bit of time. While his asking price - and his agent Scott Boras - was one of the reasons he had trouble finding a home, Bourn suffered due to the fact that he also had a compensatory draft pick tied to him after turning down a qualifying offer from Atlanta earlier this winter.


The Mets were known to be looking at Bourn as well, but with the 11th pick in the draft, the team did not want to lose its unprotected pick. At one point, there was talk that the Players' Union would petition on behalf of Bourn and the Mets in order for them to keep their pick since they technically had the 10th worst record, only falling out of the protected pick range due to the Pittsburgh Pirates being guaranteed the 10th pick after failing to sign their first round pick in 2012.


The Indians are already giving up their second round pick to the Yankees. They will now surrender their competitive balance pick (69th overall) as compensation for signing Bourn.


Bourn will immediately become the Indians new center-fielder, with Drew Stubbs and Michael Brantley likely platooning in left field. The Indians have made quite a splash this winter in free agency and trades, also signing Nick Swisher and acquiring Trevor Bauer in a deal with Arizona and Cincinnati earlier this offseason. Last week, the team also inked Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jason Giambi to minor league deals.


Next up for Scott Boras, find a similar situation for Kyle Lohse, who has been similarly handicapped after rejecting the qualifying offer from the St. Louis Cardinals.

Will Bourn Get An Identity in 2013
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Michael Bourn Hot Stove Atlanta Braves St. Louis Cardinals


It seems somewhat of a mystery why Michael Bourn is still on the free agent market at this stage of the winter. MLBtr had Bourne ranked as the number 3 free agent of the year, behind only Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton, and he seemingly had a lot of buzz around him heading into the winter.


Yet, here he sits, still unsigned. What makes it worse, is that there is absolutely no buzz around him, no rumors as to where Michael Bourn may be heading.


Perhaps it is the new draft rules hampering his market, similarly to how it is keeping Kyle Lohse shelved as well. By turning down the qualifying offer from the Braves, worth $13.3 million for one-year, Bourn is free to sign with whoever he chooses. That team is then required to surrender a first-round draft choice to do so, as long as that pick is not one of the first ten in the draft.


However, the problem does not lie with the compensation, but with the draft slotting rules that changed this year. By limiting how much a team can spend on picks, especially later in the draft, they limit the ability for teams to overspend in later rounds, making the earlier picks much more valuable.


Obstacles aside, Bourn's market has taken quite a hit. The Nationals acquired a cheaper alternative when they traded for Denard Span. The Braves spent heavy on B.J. Upton. The Angels likewise inked Josh Hamilton. Even the two behomoth's in free agency, Boston and New York, have been shy about long-term deals in order to stay under the luxury tax threshold, either this season or next.


Of course, none of this is to say that the market for Bourn will not open up, even this late in the season. Bourn's agent, Scott Boras, came out of nowhere last winter to secure Prince Fielder a nine-year, $214 million deal on January 24th. The right deal could be right around the corner.


The Texas Rangers are still in the market for outfield help, but could use a much bigger bat in the line-up. The Braves continue to discuss Bourn, but it is hard to imagine them spending that much money on the outfield and then having to deal with who plays center between him and Upton. Bourn would be a good pick-up by the Mets, but they have no money to spend despite the need to upgrade. The St. Louis Cardinals could be a good match, and have the salary space now with both Lohse and Berkman off the books, but they may be looking for the price to come down in order to justify the loss of a pick.


Bourn will find a home, but it may take some scrambling on behalf of Boras, or a subsequent move by another team, in order to get it done.


Random Thoughts
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Kris Humphries Michael Phelps Clemson Daniel Rodriguez Justin Upton B.J. Upton NFL Dan Hickens

Sportscaster goes nuts?? Army Vet plays football?? Humphries better than Phelps as a swimmer?? This and more in this weeks edition of….

Kris Humphries was a better swimmer than Michael Phelps. Yep you read it right. It seems that in the mid-90’s, as 10 year olds, the biggest rival for Phelps was Kris. If you look up swimming records for 10 year olds, Kris Humphries holds the record in the 50 and 100 meter free-style (both records still stand), while Phelps holds the record for the 100 meter butterfly.

An Army Veteran has been cleared to play football for Clemson this year. In doing so he will fulfill a pledge he made to a follow army soldier who passed away.

Daniel Rodriguez played high school football in Stafford, Va., but do to personal problems he joined the Army four days after graduation. Daniel was in Iraq during the surge of 2007 and again went to Iraq for another tour. During his second tour, he was in the line of fire in one of the bloodiest fights, the battle of Kamdesh in October 2009. There were fewer than 40 U.S. soldiers when they were overwhelmed by approximately 400 Taliban. Rodriguez’s friend Pfc. Kevin Thompson died in the battle. A few days earlier Daniel and Kevin shared their visions of what they would do after returning home. Daniel wanted to play college football and he promised Kevin he would chase his goal.

With shrapnel in his left leg and neck, and a bullet fragment through his shoulder, Rodriguez left Kamdesh and returned home. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor and a Purple Heart. Daniel was also promoted to Staff Sergeant when he honorably discharge in 2010.

Daniel started getting into football shape with punishing workouts lasting up to 6 hours a day. A friend of his place his workout on YouTube and it went viral. Fifty schools inquired including Clemson and their coach Dabo Swinney, a former walk-on at Alabama and eventually he became a scholarship receiver. Dabo gave Rodriguez a chance and filled out the necessary paper work with the NCCA and the ACC.

"He is getting the opportunity to follow his dream," the coach said. "We are excited to have him join our program. I have no doubt that he will become a great leader for us."

They play in two different leagues, but on August 3rd they played as one, as Justin Upton and his brother, B.J. Upton, each hit their 100th homerun and hour apart. They are the first brothers to hit their 100th homerun on the same night.

My condolences go out to coach Andy Reid and his family on the passing of his oldest son Garrett Reid.

Jacksonville’s NBC affiliate’s sports reporter ranted on the 11 o’clock (shown live at 12:07) news last week. He had it out for Bob Costas. Here it is.

I can tell you he has been reprimanded by NBC and he is not allowed to say anything about his little rant. He won’t lose his job because he is a very popular sportscaster in Jacksonville, Fl.

It’s that time of year when all teams think they have a chance to win the Super Bowl. Some teams are delusional while other teams have a valid chance to win it all.

According to ScottJax77 this is what will happen:

Those without a chance are the Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals.

Those that have a chance are New York Jets, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons,

Those that could win the Super Bowl are the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers.

Do the Gabbers have a choice for the Super Bowl Champs?

It is three weeks away until my fantasy football draft and I pick 5th. I have not decided what position I want to take with that pick. I would like to take Newton, but two thing are preventing me from doing so, I never pick a QB in the first round and Newton is listed in a lot of books as a 2nd or 3rd rounder. I will probably go with Megatron with my first pick and follow that up with a RB and then another WR. I pick 5th, 15th, 20, etc.

Any suggestions?

NASA’s Curiosity landed on Mars early Monday Morning. Here is the first image from Curiosity:

Til Next Time





Random Thoughts
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Mike Dunlap Michael Jordan Miami Heat LeBron James R.A. Dickey Lance Lynn President Obama Little League Baseball

All hail the King?? Air Jordan out of air?? Who is Lynn?? 4 team playoff suck?? President Obama not making friends with Red Sox fans?? This and more in this weeks edition of….

Is this a paid endorsement? I wish. Congrats James for a great NBA finals.

Congratulations go out to the Miami Heat. They played great basketball on their way to winning the NBA Title.

Some have called him cocky, some have called him selfish, some have called him arrogant, but now all have to call him a champion. That includes me. I was upset because he didn’t go to my favorite basketball team the Brooklyn Nets. Sure it is easier when there are other superstars on the team your going to, but that doesn’t make it that much easier to win a championship. Otherwise the Heat would have won it all last year.

But you have to give credit where credit is due, and to that I congratulate King James. Got to say LeBron James played “Lights out” during the Heats run to the Title. He carried the team the whole way. He was the runaway winner of the Playoff MVP award. He turned his game around when the Heat needed it.

Who would have thought that Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey (11-1) has more wins than Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay combined.

But even more surprising is that Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn (10-3) also has more wins than Lee and Halladay.

Just figured out why the Phillies are 9 games behind the Nationals, no Howard, Lee or Halladay.

He might have been the NBA’s greatest player ever, by as an owner, Michael Jordan is a shell of his playing days. Why did he pick Mike Dunlap to coach the team?

He had some of the leagues smartest coaches interview for his head coaching job, so what does Air-Head Jordan do, he takes a college coach with no real head coaching experience to guide his team.

How can anyone sue a youngster? A New Jersey woman is. Elizabeth Lloyd was sitting at a picnic table near a fenced in bullpen when she was hit in the face with a ball that catcher Matthew Migliaccio threw while warming up a pitcher. Lloyd is asking for $150,000 in damages.

Is this the new trend is celebrating a save?

Apparently the Reds were not happy with the situation as several Reds players talked to Chapman after the game.

I am not a fan of the new college football 4 team playoff. This was made to suit the SEC and the Big-10 and could suck even more than the BCS. It would be better if the NCAA gets off their fat asses and realigned the conferences to 10 twelve team conferences. The winner from each conference championship will go to a playoff to determine the National Champions. It can be done.

Way to go Mr. President. The President, during a fundraiser in Boston, playfully joked with the crowd, referencing the trade between the Red Sox and White Sox that sent Kevin Youkilis to Chicago.

President Barack Obama certainly isn't helping his campaign in Red Sox Nation.

"And finally Boston, I just want to say, thank you for Youkilis," Obama said.

The President's quip was met with some laughs, but mostly with boos and "Youk" chants from the crowd at Symphony Hall.

"I'm just saying, he's going to have to change the color of his socks," added Obama, a known White Sox fan.

The rough crowd caused Obama to backtrack on his jokes and realize that he should not have mixed baseball in with his re-election campaign.

"I didn't think I was going to get any boos out of here," Obama said. "I should not have brought up baseball. I understand. My mistake! My mistake! You've got to know your crowd."

Man Red Sox Fans take things way too seriously!!

Til Next time





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