I’m Just Saying…..
He has a lifetime batting average of .317, he’s walked (1,326) more times than he has struck out (1,150), 2,494 hits, 362 homeruns, 1,385 runs and runs batted in, led the league in batting average once. Do you know who he is?? Apparently a lot of other people in baseball don’t know who it is either. It happens to be Colorado Rockies 1st basemen Todd Helton who is nearing the end of a remarkable career under the radar.
If you have gone to an NFL exhibition game this year, you will notice several things that are now not allowed inside NFL stadiums. You can not have big bags or purses unless they are clear plastic and meet NFL standards. No longer can you bring seat cushions (this has played havoc on my hip), and camera bags.
The National League MVP and Cy Young will be a lot harder to pick then the American League MVP and Cy Young. My selections for the NL will be “outside the box” so to speak.
I’m a New Yorker, who does every once in a while give props to Boston teams, players and coaches, when its due. At the beginning of the year, I would have never thought that the Boston Red Sox would finish in 1st place considering the season they had last year. But with the right free agent signings, and a more healthier club house then in previous years, you have to give it Red Sox. They made all the right moves and deserve to win it all. For the record, I did not have the Yankees finishing first. I had Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Yankees.
Are the New York Mets becoming the National League version of the Tampa Bay Rays? Man they got some young talented pitchers. Matt Harvey (24 yrs old) and Zack Wheeler (23 years old) could be the anchors of young pitching staff, supported by Dillon Gee. Next year they might have 21 year old starter Noah Syndergaard who is 9-3 in the minors, LHP Jack Leathersich 4-0, and future reliever Jeurys Familia (23 years old). There are others be these pitchers have stood out. Now other than David Wright, they need some hitters and that is lacking in the minors. Maybe some low level free agent signings and things will turn around of the Mets. Since I wrote this Harvey might face Tommy John Surgery and will be out until 2015 as well as another rising youngster Mejia.
MLB umps?? Jacksonville Courthouse?? What a courthouse?? Jaguars?? Putting around?? No-hitters?? All this and more in this weeks edition of….
Here is something good that did not make it to YouGabSports. Alcorn State, and the Southwestern Athletic Conference, hired its first “non-African American” head football coach when they hired former Memphis defensive coordinator, Jay Hopson.
"I don't see black or white, we're all purple and gold," Hopson told reporters after being introduced. Alcorn school president M. Christopher Brown II's said "Today's historical appointment will require us to walk hand in hand to disrupt naysayers wedded to a racist past."
Congrats to Alcorn State, Southwestern Athletic Conference and coach Hopson.
Congrats go to Florida University pitcher Jonathon Crawford, who pitched a no-hitter against Bethune-Cookman, 4-0 in an opening round game of the Gainesville Regional.
It took 8,020 games to do it, but a New York Met pitcher finally tossed a no-hitter. Congrats go to Johan Santana who no-hit the St. Louis Cardinals, 8-0. Yeah an umpire missed a call, but still it was a no-hitter just the same. It was Johan’s first no-hitter.
Can’t understand why it took so long for an organization who had Koosman, Gooden, Cone, Seaver and Ryan, can you?
Did the Jacksonville Jaguars mess up on another first-round wide receiver pick? Matt Jones, R.J Soward, Reggie Williams, and now Justin Blackmon. Blackman was arrested on an aggravated DUI charge. He took a breathalyzer and it registered a .24, which is three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system.
This is not the first time Blackmon was in trouble due to alcohol. In 2010 he was arrested on a misdemeanor DUI charge in Texas.
He has not signed his rookie contract yet. I hope the Jaguars put provisions in his contract to curtail his drinking problem.
Is Tiger Woods back? Some would think so, after his shot on 16, during the last round of the Memorial. It was vintage Tiger, as he was two shots behind with three holes to play, his ball in an impossible spot behind the 16th green, Woods holed a flop shot from 50 feet away that turned bogey into birdie and sent him on his way to a stunning comeback Sunday in the Memorial.
NHL refs confer on close calls, NFL referee’s confer on close calls and penalties, even NBA refs confer on plays. So what’s up with MLB umpires? Are they too big for themselves that they can’t confer on close calls? Too many plays have been missed in the pass two weeks to take this issue too lightly. Baseball has to tell its umpires that thy need to talk to one another on close calls that are being contested. They are not bigger than the game!!
Dennis Miller, a 42-year-old director of golf in Northeast Ohio had this amazing putt fall during a playoff at the US Open Sectional Qualifying in Columbus, Ohio.
This is Jacksonville, Florida’s new courthouse. This was originally paid for with money designated for the Better Jacksonville Plan. This plan was put together in 2000 as part of the effort to get the Super Bowl in 2005. Money was used to build Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena ($130 million), Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville (34 million), a Equestrian Center, upgrade Everbank field, pave/modify roads, build a new Main Library, new library branches and the courthouse above. The courthouse was designated $190 million.
Now what was $190, became $210 million due to design changes and modifications, became $250 million with add-ons, became $280 million, which is now at $350 million. Guess what the courthouse can’t open because it can’t pass inspection.
15 years after in was authorized, the courthouse is completed and yet the judges and clerks of the court can’t move in because of safety concerns.
So my Gabbers, this is how shit happens in Jacksonville.
I’ll leave you this pearls of wisdom:
Til next time
ScottJax says thanks?? Nets suck?? Manning’s original speech?? New Orleans Saints, Denver/Jets?? All this and more in this weeks edition of…..
Kiss our butts, we got Manning!!
Scott would like to thanks all the gabbers for giving me advise on my retirement and for the warm wishes for my health. Believe me, it made me feel great that I am associated with the best group of bloggers/friends in the world!!
Nets trade a first round pick and two players for Gerald Wallace. You waste a first rounder on a declining player. Why, why do I keep rooting for the Nets.
Come to think of it, why did the Nets make Billy King their GM, he ruined the 76ers.
I hope you all took the time to read Peyton Manning’s original parting of the way speech. If not, here is the link:
I hope you enjoy it.
Well it looks like Peyton signed with the Denver Broncos. The contract, which protects Denver, is as follow:
There is no signing bonus.
Manning will get $18 million guaranteed next season.
Starting in 2013 Peyton must pass a physical before each season to get paid.
For the 2013 and 2014 seasons he will get $20 million.
For the 2015 and 2016 seasons he will get $19 million.
There is an injury waiver in the contract, covering Manning’s neck. If he reinjures the neck during the 2013 season he will not get paid for the 2014 season.
This Pole Vault/Frisbee trick is making the rounds at ESPN. It is number 10 of plays of the day.
I know we have gotten a little political at times, here at the gab, but ponder this???
During the Bush years, it took a barrel of oil to reach $147 for gas here in the States to cost $4 a gallon. Now, today, as to not call out a specific President by name, it takes only $107 a barrel to get to $4 a gallon. Ummm…
Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, principal Met owners, save themselves financial grief by reaching a deal with a trustee for Bernard Madoff’s fraud victims. The deal saves the owners almost $800 million dollars (they were seeking close to a billion dollars), and basically saves them from having to sell the team. No money has to be paid for at least three years.
Mark Sanchez will now have to look over his shoulders, and not to check his danruff. It will Tebowmania hovering over him. Every time Mark fumbles the ball or throws an interception the fans will be chanting Te-bow, Te-bow. It could get ugly.
NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, slammed the Saints yesterday. Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints head coach, is out for the season without pay, former defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams is indefinitely banned, General Manager Mickey Loomis banned for the first eight regular-season games and assistant coach Joe Vitt is banned for the first six games of the season. The Saints were fined $500,000 and lost their second-round draft pick in 2012 and 2013.
Now that’s sending a message!!
Til Next Time
“7-20 in September. We go 9-18, we’re where we want to be. 9-18 is what, winning a third of your games? The worst teams in baseball win a third of their games.”
First of all, I recommend checking out the timelines of what went on Wednesday. Having three games like that happen at once doesn’t happen in the playoffs, that might be more memorable than anything I have to say about how historic the “collapses” (euphemism for choke) were.
Here are three good timelines:
Obviously the Rays have returned to the playoffs with a vengeance, but the main topic is I still want to talk about how they and the Cardinals got there and to give some historical perspective on those collapses. That’s why I don’t blog about baseball much. By the time you sit down to think about it and research and so forth, something else important is going on. The Yankees/Tigers game was postponed as I was writing this, so that helped me finish without too much distraction.
I mentioned in a couple of places after the Red Sox had the 3-13 stretch (or some approximation thereof) that I couldn’t find another team that had ever done that in September, not even the 1964 Phillies, who had a 10-game losing streak in September. Those Phillies went 4-13 for one stretch, but that was followed by two wins (in the last two games of the season) and preceded by a 3-game winning streak. The Phillies were 2 ½ behind in the second-to-last game but technically were not eliminated until the next day. So that was also less dramatic.
Looking at the full month though, it’s not even closer. The Phillies won 13 games in September ’64, the same number the Angels (a team I follow a good bit) won this September. The Angels gained 6 ½ games against the Red Sox in the month. After the 3-13 stretch by the Red Sox and before the Angels finished with four consecutive losses, the Angels had gained 8 games on the Red Sox for the month.
So if you compare the Septembers of the 2011 Red Sox and 1964 Cardinals, the Red Sox would have lost 13 games against the Cardinals. So that’s about twice as many games as the Phillies lost (the Phillies actually lost 7 games from the beginning of the month to the end, but that regular season actually ended on October 4; the Phillies lost 6 ½ in the last 28 days of their season, so by that calculation, it is twice as many games).
I did notice the coincidence of the Phillies playing the Braves on Wednesday and helping to send the Cardinals to the post-season yet gain. It’s also a coincidence in that by causing the Braves to lose, that’s arguably another team that passes up their 1964 team in choking.
Watching a game of baseball can sometimes be as much fun listening to the broadcast booth as it is watching the actual action on the diamond.
Generally that area is filled by people who have been in and around the game for as long as anyone can remember. While the fairly recent losses of legends like Ernie Harwell and Harry Kalas makes the game a little less fun, there are several people left who bring listeners much needed smiles.
We all have our favorites, so feel free to add yours to the list if you are so inclined. Yours truly freely admits that he hasn't had the pleasure of hearing everyone behind the microphone.
If you want to get a feel of how cool "Ueck" is, you can watch all the commercials, appearances with Johnny Carson, movies, and even his sitcom for a taste.
One of the best ways is to listen to comedian Artie Lange tell a story of how he got to sit next to Uecker for a few innings and watch the maestro at work. Truly hilarious insight.
"Mr. Baseball" knows his stuff, both good and bad. A sound defensive catcher with a World Series ring, he once led the league in passed balls trying to catch knuckleballing Hall of Famer Phil Niekro despite playing just 59 games.
He is not just extremely funny, but you can improve your own game listening to Uecker. Want to learn how to catch a knuckleball? Just wait until it stops rolling, then go pick it up.
Here is a montage of some of his quips :
Anybody with ability can play in the big leagues. But to be able to trick people year in and year out the way I did, I think that was a much greater feat.
Baseball hasn't forgotten me. I go to a lot of old-timers games and I haven't lost a thing. I sit in the bullpen and let people throw things at me. Just like old times.
Career highlights? I had two. I got an intentional walk from Sandy Koufax and I got out of a rundown against the Mets.
I didn't get a lot of awards as a player. But they did have a Bob Uecker Day Off for me once in Philly.
I had slumps that lasted into the winter.
I hit a grand slam off Ron Herbel and when his manager Herman Franks came out to get him, he was bringing Herbel's suitcase.
I knew when my career was over. In 1965 my baseball card came out with no picture.
I led the league in "Go get 'em next time."
I set records that will never be equaled. In fact, I hope 90% of them don't even get printed.
I signed with the Milwaukee Braves for three-thousand dollars. That bothered my dad at the time because he didn't have that kind of dough. But he eventually scraped it up.
If a guy hits .300 every year, what does he have to look forward to? I always tried to stay around .190, with three or four RBI. And I tried to get them all in September. That way I always had something to talk about during the winter.
In 1962 I was named Minor League Player of the Year. It was my second season in the bigs.
Let's face it. Umpiring is not an easy or happy way to make a living. In the abuse they suffer, and the pay they get for it, you see an imbalance that can only be explained by their need to stay close to a game they can't resist.
One time, I got pulled over at four a.m. I was fined seventy-five dollars for being intoxicated and four-hundred for being with the Phillies.
People don't know this but I helped the Cardinals win the pennant. I came down with hepatitis. The trainer injected me with it.
Sporting goods companies pay me not to endorse their products.
Sure, women sportswriters look when they're in the clubhouse. Read their stories. How else do you explain a capital letter in the middle of a word?
The highlight of my career? In '67 with St. Louis, I walked with the bases loaded to drive in the winning run in an intersquad game in spring training.
When I came up to bat with three men on and two outs in the ninth, I looked in the other team's dugout and they were already in street clothes.
When I looked at the third base coach, he turned his back on me.
I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Actually, I was born in Illinois. My mother and father were on an oleo margarine run to Chicago back in 1934, because we couldn't get colored margarine in Wisconsin. On the way home, my mother was with child. Me. And the pains started, and my dad pulled off into an exit area, and that's where the event took place. I remember it was a Nativity type setting. An exit light shining down. There were three truck drivers there. One guy was carrying butter, one guy had frankfurters, and the other guy was a retired baseball scout who told my folks that I probably had a chance to play somewhere down the line.
Well, a couple of grand slammers and the Brewers are right back in this one (Uecker during the 8th inning of a game the Brewers were losing 8–0.)
The biggest thrill a ballplayer can have is when your son takes after you. That happened when my Bobby was in his championship Little League game. He really showed me something. Struck out three times. Made an error that lost the game. Parents were throwing things at our car and swearing at us as we drove off. Gosh, I was proud.
I had slumps that lasted into the winter.
A doctor told me to drink lemon juice after a hot bath. But I have never finished the bath.
I won the Comeback of the Year Award five years in a row!
I'm scared of the Reds.
I had been playing for a while, and I asked Louisville Slugger to send me a dozen flame treated bats. But when I got it, I realized they had sent me a box of ashes.
Luv Ya Ueck!
Residents in Charm City have long been blessed with great men behind a microphone. The legendary Chuck Thompson is still king, and his days working with Orioles Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson were fun.
Ford Frick Award winner Jon Miller took over in the radio booth when Thompson, who also won the Frick Award, worked just television in 1983, the year the Orioles won the World Series. Today the Orioles have the excellent Gary Thorne.
Palmer is the greatest pitcher in Orioles history. He is a Hall of Famer who has done modeling and acting too, so going to the booth was a natural transition. He started working network television before coming back home to do just Orioles games.
Listening to Palmer is a daily education. From his knowledge of the game, stories from the past, and relationships with current players, Palmer is always fun to listen to.
A few years ago, the Orioles played the Washington Nationals. Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton was calling Nationals games at the time, and someone had the idea to put both in the same booth.
The legends swapped stories, theories, learning's, and more. Anyone who got to listen to the duo in that three game series probably paid little attention to the action on the field because the focus was on listening to the duo.
Baltimore has had solid guys like Buck Martinez in the booth, as well as Orioles greats like Rick Dempsey and Mike Flanagan working with Thorne too. But everyone quietly hopes Palmer will feel like calling the game that day so they can get a wealth of wisdom and greatness.
Scully's 61 years of calling Los Angeles Dodger games is the longest of any broadcaster with a single club in professional sports history. The 83-year old is still going strong, showing no signs of slowing down.
Not only is his wealth of knowledge endless, but all players say Scully is one of the truest gentleman to have ever graced the game.
Born in the Bronx of New York City, Scully started calling Brooklyn Dodger games in 1950. He accompanied the team when they moved in 1958, making him and Tommy Lasorda the last ties in the organization to their beginnings.
While he has covered all sports, many other organizations have unsuccessfully tried to retain his services. His loyalty to the Dodgers is a legend of lore that will not be duplicated.
The historic moments he has called it endless. From the Brooklyn Dodgers only World Series win, to four perfect games and a no-hitter. His biggest moments may have been Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th home run and Kirk Gibson's famous World Series home run in 1988.
Scully, a Frick Award winner, is often imitated but he will never be duplicated. There are thousands of Dodgers fans out there who root for the team because he is the man in the booth.
Miller started out broadcasting Major League games with the Oakland A's in their title year. After working with the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox, he got a job with the Baltimore Orioles in 1983.
The Orioles changed owners in 1993, and Miller was fired in 1996 for being a broadcast journalist as opposed to a homer-type. Though Miller was an Orioles fan, he called games with an objectionable point of view.
The San Francisco Giants hired him immediately, where he still works today. Miller also spent 20 years with ESPN before departing after the 2010 season. Games he called with Hall of Famer Joe Morgan drew a large fan base for the network.
Miller won the Ford C. Frick Award in 2010. Lon Simmons, who also won the Frick Award in 2004, has still sat in on a few Giants games on occasion after retiring to a part-time basis. Giants fans are certainly lucky to have a pair of legends in their booth.
Miller is known for being cerebral and eclectic, as well as humorous. He does a wide range of impressions that range from Vin Scully, Jack Benny, Thompson, Simmons, and others.
Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow
This duo of ex-players have teamed in the Giants booth for a few decades. Their rapport is the stuff of legend, as the banter in known to fly often.
Krukow was a pitcher who won 124 games, including a 20-win season once for the Giants in 1986. Kuiper was a utility player with a good glove and light bat. Krukow often kids Kuiper how he has four more career home runs than Kuiper.
Krukow is best know for having his own lingo. His phrases are said to come from the "Kruktionary". Here are a few samples :
"Grab some pine, meat!"
"Just another - ha ha ha ha - laugher!"
"I wanna get that!, I wanna get that!, I wanna get that!" whenever a product is endorsed during a game.
Kuiper invented a new slogan for close games. "Giants baseball... torture!"
"Kruk and Kipe" are opinionated but funny. Having played the game, what they speak garners the respect of listeners. The fact that they are ex-Giants who staunchly support the team and players gives them even more legend in the Bay area.
In 1974, Brennaman was hired by to replace the departed Al Michaels to broadcast the Cincinnati Reds games on the radio. Joe Nuxhall, a former Reds pitcher, was paired with him and the duo would call games the next 31 seasons.
The pair were extremely popular in Cincinnati, appearing in all sorts of events throughout the city. Brennaman has won the Ford C. Frick Award in 2000, as well as several other awards.
He is known for voicing his opinion, even if it is deemed controversial. He had been critical of umpires and even some Chicago Cubs fans. His son, Thom, is a respected announcer who has called games for the FOX network as one of the original announcers of NFL games, the Cubs, and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Thom, who started out working with his dad in the late 1980's, re-joined the Reds in 2006 so the Brennaman's could team up again. This gives Reds fans a duo with almost 70 years of combined broadcast experience.
Kiner followed a Hall of Fame playing career, which ended early due to injury, to the the booth. He joined the expansion New York Mets in 1962 and is still going at 88-years old. Kiner is the only broadcaster to call all of the Mets history as he gets ready to enter his 50th year with the team.
Mets fans enjoyed the days of Kiner and Frick Award winner Bob Murphy working together for 41 years. The duo was entertaining in many ways and developed a huge following.
Kiner is a gem himself. He is known for making mistakes on the microphone, especially with remembering names. He even called himself "Ralph Korner" once. He called Gary Carter "Gary Cooper", and Hubie Brooks "Mookie".
Kiner hosted a show called "Kiners Korner" since 1963, but the post-game show appearances dwindled as Kiner aged.
Here are a few of his most notable quotes on the "Korner" :
"And it's going....going....going to be caught"
"The Mets are winless in the month of Atlanta"
"It's Father's Day today at Shea, so to all you fathers out there, Happy Birthday."
"All of Rick Aguilera's saves have come in relief appearances."
"All the Met wins on the road against Los Angeles this year have come at Dodger Stadium."
Mets fans love Ralph Kiner! With good reason.
Sometimes one is born to sit in a broadcast booth due to D.N.A. Chip Carey's grandfather and father had announced baseball games over 80 seasons combined. His grandfather, Harry, is a legend in the city of Chicago, while his dad, Skip, is an Atlanta legend.
His dad broke him into broadcasting Braves baseball in 1991, even though he had already two seasons of working Orlando Magic games, in the NBA, under his belt. Carey left the Braves to call Seattle Mariners games for a few years, then worked for the FOX network.
His grandfather worked with him doing games in 1998, and the two would work together calling Chicago Cubs games until 2004. Carey joined the Atlanta Braves to work with his father again in 2005, where he currently works. He also has a brother who calls games for a minor league team in the Braves network.
Skip Carey worked many years with Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton calling Braves games. Sutton has a son, Daron, who is considered by many to be one of the best broadcasters calling baseball games.
Chip Carey truly benefited from learning as a child from his parents. Thom Brennaman is another excellent broadcaster who is following his own famous fathers footsteps.
But being related to a famous broadcaster does not mean one is automatically good at his job. Joe Buck is the son of the legendary Jack Buck, but is as exciting as watching paint dry behind a microphone.
Coleman started out as a player and won four World Series as well as a World Series MVP Award. He is the only Major League Baseball player ever to have seen combat in two wars.
He started working in the booth of San Diego Padres games in 1972 and has been there since, with the exception of the 1980 season. He managed the Padres that year and went 73-89.
He is one of just four ex-players to win the Ford C. Frick Award. Coleman is known for a penchant of making mistakes announcing, but the 86-year old is a legend in the San Diego area.