Fresh back from multiple vacations and my daughter’ discharge from active duty USMC and I find that we are in the middle of the early summer sports lull.
two of my sons at 30mph...not easy on a tube
I am not a soccer fan. The Germany 7-1 beating of faux favorite and host Brazil was the thing that could draw fans from the dark side. The NFL equivalent would be 49-7 and that’s what we are talkin’ bout.
MLB The home town team is in the position of seller because they are much closer to the AL East cellar then the top spot.
Training camps are just a few weeks away for the NFL.
Summer leagues are playing for the NBA, actually better B ball than the regular season for the most part, at least more watchable.
Sully had a question of the day I saw when I got back to the gab, that’s me sitting in the corner table at the posh “Mo’s Bar”
Who was your first concert and who opened for them.
I went to HS in the 1960’s
Rock and Roll
I went to as many concerts at every venue available as I could possibly fit into my schedule.
Hence my hearing loss.
I saw the Stones at Boston Garden in 1969, I think November.
BB King was one of the opening acts and that’s when I fell for the Blues.
I was 17 at the time.
I saw Pink Floyd at the old Providence Civic Center (now known as the Dunk) in 1973
Great live show.
Boston had a load of small venues in town and it was a regular thing to stop at the Jazz Workshop, Paul’s Mall, Katies or the Paradise in Kenmore Square to see the likes of James Taylor, Muddy Waters, Myles Davis, Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder, Captain Beefheart and George Benson. These small venues were a great place to see a good show at a reasonable price and you just never knew that one of these artists could make it big.
One of my old favorites from those recreational days was
Captain Beefheart , ( Don Van Vliet 1941-2010) played from time to time with Frank Zappa and the Mothers along with a career with his own band. Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band had several albums with some success and his shows were very entertaining as he invited audience participation.
His most successful venture was the album Trout Mask Replica with is # 58 on Rolling Stones 300 best rock albums of all time list. Take the time to check out this unique artist and poet.
Two Trains…two railroad tracks
One going and the other coming back
The black paper between the mirror makes me said that I can’t go
Aaron Hernandez - Did you see the major marketing oops surrounding both the Florida Gators and New England Patriots this week? It seems that calendars for both teams feature everyone's favorite potential triple murderer Aaron Hernandez.
According to the their party company that produced the calendars, approval was given months before any charges were filed against Hernandez. Of course, if that is the case, doesn't the school and the team keep track of who's in what as far as promotional type materials for the team?
I mean if they can keep stats on who uses their left leg or their right leg more on third down in November games below 50 degrees, the front office ought to know which players are featured in what material, no?
The New York Liberty actually had a good week for a change. They won both of their games to "improve" to 6-11 on the season. First they nipped the Connecticut Sun 67-65 and then beat the Tulsa Shock handily 90-74.
About the only down type of news for the team this week was related to assistant coach Katie Smith. She was replaced as the #2 all-time WNBA scorer by Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury.
BOSTON RED SOX
Professional writers and commentators have been talking for a while now about exactly when the Red Sox will concede they won't win the World Series this year so that they can sell off any trade worthy assets and go all in with their youth movement.
I've been holding off on conceding the season so those articles have kind of irritated me to this point. But after watching the Red Sox get slapped around by the woeful Chicago Cubs in a three game sweep AT Fenway Park earlier this week, I'm damn close to saying the Sox should pack it in.
What a terrible notion though. To give up before they even reach the All-Star break disgusts me. But with a ton of injuries to key players that don't seem to be healing in a timely manner and a general feeling of malaise from those that are actually on the field, maybe it is time to play as many of the youngsters to give them as much major league seasoning as possible and come back to make a strong run at contention next season.
Of course, playing the less experienced guys comes with the knowledge that the team is likely to be nearly as bad as the Bobby Valentine Year. After all, Jackie Bradley Jr. can't hit MLB pitching and Xander Boegarts is in a huge slump. But Brock Holt looks like the real deal and Mookie Betts seems to have started off his stay with the big club as well as could be expected.
But what about the pitching? Clay Buchholz is back from his injury rehab and has pitched markedly better than what he had been doing before. It hasn't translated into W's for him, but he's at least kept the team in games and he wasn't really doing that before. But if he can string together some really good performances, will the Sox look to trade him for something to help their future?
Brandon Workman was doing well until the BS suspension that left him out of the rotation for 12 days. He got shelled in his last start. But I'd like to see him stick around for a while.
I know Jon Lester is the most talked about guy to be on the trading block. Given his 9-7 record and periods where he's getting hit as often as a punch drunk boxer, trading him when you can't agree on a new contract for multiple pieces in return seems like a good idea. But I think trading the acknowledged ace of your staff is going to hurt the team in ways both on and off the field. While his record might make many happy the Sox didn't give him a huge contract offer before the season started, I think the lowball offer they did extend will bite them in the ass after the season ended. Should Lester turn things around in the second half of the season and become a lights out starter, Sox GM Ben Cherington is going to have to decide between opening the vault doors or parting ways with a guy that is seen as one of the key foundational members of the team.
Okay hockey fans who happen to read this column, was Jarome Iginla leaving the Bruins a foregone conclusion?
After seeing the news that he signed a 3 year, 16 million dollar deal to play for the Colorado Avalanche I was wondering if the Bruins even made an attempt at keeping him. If not, why not? Was his performance not enough to justify trying to keep him, or was the contract demands more than the Bruins were willing to assume?
The other question I had is with the talent that has already left the club so far this offseason, do the Bruins still have enough top line guys to make a serious attempt at the Stanley Cup next season?
In an unrelated to "real" hockey, I watched the Rob Lowe hockey film Youngblood on Thursday night. I remember when it first came out and how much I liked it. I think it is still an okay film but it definitely doesn't hold up as well.
Music - Here at Yougabsports, one of this week's Question of the Day entries asked about the first concert site readers/contributors had attended. I took it a bit further and did a separate blog entry detailing all the concerts I've attended since before 1986. You can read that HERE.
I got two review articles done this week. The first one is a four pack of mini reviews for albums that were released in 2013. I hadn't gotten around to buying them before 2014 came around but I wanted to share my thoughts on each of the discs, even if it is an abbreviated version of said thoughts. You can check out what I thought of albums by Julie Roberts, Paul Rodgers, Black Star Riders and The Winery Dogs via this Pop-topia.com link.
I also reviewed the new Night Ranger CD High Road for KNAC.com. You can check out that one HERE.
Last week I included the lyric video for the Overkill song "Armorist". But over the course of the week, the band released the official video. You can see it below.
Books - I had a big week of book buying this week, adding 7 new selections to my ever expanding to read pile. The books in question are as follows: Star Trek The Next Generation - Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang, The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling under a pen name), The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly, The Highway by C.J. Box and both Murder on the Half Shelf and Not the Killing Type by Lorna Barrett. On Saturday I added the Linwood Barclay thriller A Tap on the Window.
I gave the Rowling book to my mother to read first as she is a huge Harry Potter fan and I wanted to let her see if she liked this total story change from the author. Plus it will be a while before I get to it anyway.
This week on the Today Show, best selling authors Brad Thor and Kate White were asked for their summer reading recommendations. In the suspense category, they both picked the Terry Hayes book I Am Pilgrim. It was nice to see them giving some love to a book I loved. However, not too brag (too much), but I was on the fan bandwagon for the novel months ago.
Missing the NFL right now as the OTAs are winding down and training camp is a month away. Following the NFL has become a full-time job recently with just this month the only real downtime in the schedule. That said, after all the combine, draft, free agency, etc I am ready for the games to get here. Training camp has become an “event” in the past 15-20 years and now is a big part of the NFL calendar for fans.
Without football, all eyes are on baseball, tennis, and soccer. I enjoyed trying to watch as much of the College World Series as it is real enjoyable to track the young stars of tomorrow in the tournament. Enjoyed catching the Longhorns game versus Vanderbilt on ESPN last Saturday night despite the “Clemens Cam” that seemed fixed on former major league pitcher Roger Clemens on hand to watch his son at Texas. Nice to see Vandy finally win their first CWS championship.
Wimbledon is in full bloom and although tennis was never big in my house growing up, I enjoyed playing on the lawn with the neighbors every July as we caught Wimbledon fever and built our own ”court” on the front lawn. I do remember that we always watched the mens and womens finals (in the morning, of course) and instead of cream and strawberries we munched on fresh picked strawberries from the garden (with no-fat milk substituted for the cream) as my mother insisted on the traditional Wimbledon snack.
The World Cup is in full swing and the U.S. were lucky enough to have Portugal knock off Ghana and allow them into the knockout round of sixteen. The Americans seemed...off...against Germany. Not sure if they were playing over-conservative to keep it close or whatever, but it almost backfired. Had Ghana scored instead of Ronaldo for Portugal and it would have been good night for U.S. Soccer.
Finally, major league baseball had a no-hitter by San Francisco Giants former ace Tim Lincecum against the weak-hitting San Diego Padres. Lincecum used to be a strikeout guy. The goofy motion and hair with a devastating fastball made him one of the more notable young guns when he won back-to-back Cy Young Awards. The days of dominance are long gone, but back-to-back seasons with no-hitters is still impressive.
The Red Sox were on the West Coast last week and the season continued to jump off the tracks. Seven games out west and starting today back for three more in New York against the Yankees. Going 2-5 on a trip they needed to go 5-2 on at worst to start crawling back into the American League East race. The Red Sox sit 7 games under .500 and 7.5 games behind the Blue Jays and a ton of teams between them and the playoffs.
Dustin Pedroia continues to struggle mightily batting just .265 with only 4 home runs and 27 RBIs and just a .338 OBP and an abysmal .377 Slugging Percentage (per baseball-reference.com). David Ortiz is hitting .265 batting average but he is the only player on the team with double-digit home runs. I am not saying the team is horrible this season at the plate this season but A.J. Pierzynski is second on the team with 31 RBIs. Shane Victorino was out with a hamstring injury and in the rehab has now been shut-down indefinitely with back issues.
For the Red Sox the problem is that they need to keep fans flocking to Fenway (and buying commemorative bricks, food, drinks, merchandise, fan club memberships, watching their cable network, etc) and unlike other markets the Fenway “Faithful” fall off in droves when the losing starts. Heck, 2012 is evidence of that after the 90 loss team played in a half-empty stadium almost the entire second-half of the season.
Blowing this team up completely is not an option for the current ownership group. Maybe it is time to look to the Dodgers again for a Kemp/Ethier blockbuster deal maybe?
Finally, the NBA Draft will be done by the time this is posted. My fingers are crossed that the Celtics still somehow deal their picks for Kevin Love right now.
OK, that’s all for this week. Have a great weekend!