Tagged with "baseball"
Sports Friday with Hal: Fenway Magic
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Baseball Red Sox Fenway Park

Happy Friday!

 

Had the opportunity this week thanks to the lovely Mrs. B. to revisit an old friend: the Fenway Park bleachers. As an early Father’s Day/late 40th Birthday present I was given two tickets to head out on Tuesday night to see the Red Sox take on the Tampa Bay Rays.  My best buddy, G., and I were off to our old teenage stomping grounds on a Tuesday night (Oh my gosh, a work night...I can’t be out and about town in my advanced age!).

 

We retraced our old steps, driving up to the Quincy Adams train station to catch the Red Line train. Parking was a bit more costly than when we made the trek 22 years ago, but it was the same urine-stink parking garage of the days of yore. Riding the Red Line train through Quincy and into the city brought back memories of the hundreds of times I had done so before: the summer of construction on the line and getting out and riding the bus for three stops; the time my wife’s sister left her pocketbook on the train and we had to take a post-game trip to the end of the Green Line to pick it up and rush to get back on the last train out (and amazingly got it back with all the money, ID, and cards inside); all the silly conversations; the people watching; and even the time we took the boy to Fenway at nine months old (over a decade ago now) and he reached out from the carriage to grab the poor nice lady’s ass.

 

A quick switch to the Green Line at Park Street and we were on our way to Kenmore. A quick walk, crossing across the bridge over the Mass Pike, and we were passing the Cask’n’Flagon (too many other “real” bars in the area to grab a drink and not be in a tourist trap). A few steps more and we entered history. Suddenly we were strolling behind the Green Monster to reach Gate C in centerfield across the street from the music clubs. Of course, I had to stop off and enjoy one of these:



 

From there we were chomping away and then inside. From one quick stop for a couple of beers ($7.75 for a can of Miller Lite...now that is price gouging) and suddenly we emerged from the steel and concrete of the city to this:



 

and this:



 

and this:



 

It had been far too many years since the costs of the Larry Lucchino-John Henry-Tom Werner regime drove the little folks like me and G. from our home away from home in the Baseball Oasis.

 

A good deal of conversation took place through the warm-ups (starting pitcher John Lackey):



 

and through the first three innings. Let me add, it was cloudy, misting, and cold. It said the temperature was 42 degrees, but it had a cold wind blowing in from behind us in centerfield and the wind chill was no more than 30 degrees. Sitting in the cold was numbing. I felt bad for the kids in attendance as I had sat through my share of games in bad weather. My second trip to Fenway was a two and a half hour rain delay in 1985 (I only remember that lefty first baseman Mike Easler ripped a home run down the right field line around the Pesky Pole).

 

By the fourth inning (the place was half empty and slowly emptying) we were up and moving (too much beer to sit too long anyway!) and we began our trek around the stadium. We had to check out the improvements, the changes, the new food stands, the revamped areas and the extra seats crammed in.  

 

We ended up here:



 

and here:



 

and just about everywhere in and out of the stadium.  What we did not catch on the field we caught on the monitors. It was still cold but moving around kept us warm. We got to see the horrible drunk singing and dancing of the “Sweet Caroline” crowd. Of course, the end of game was inexorably slow as we were treated to the longest inning in the eighth and ninth innings.

 

The Red Sox had been locked in a one-one game through six innings before finally breaking out with the bottom of the order chipping in. With the Sox shut down by Erik Bedard (seriously!) it was nice to see rookie centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and young third baseman Will Middlebrooks contribute to the win. But former Cardinals closer Edward Mujica for the Red Sox and long-time set-up man Joel Peralta dragged the end of the game out as neither could find the plate.

 

Mujica struggled so much that closer Koji Uehara had to come in for a three pitch strikeout to close the game and grab a save. The final was seven to four, but Boston had the game in hand at the end. It was the dragging out of the bottom of the eighth and top of the ninth stretched the game to four hours, but by that point I was ready for extra innings. Get my money’s worth! Not to be with Koji shutting it down, but he certainly got the sparse crowd excited. Great energy from the closer.

 

Afterwards, it was a trek down to the Green Line (and another sausage on the way out!) and missing the underground stairs in the middle of the sidewalk of old. Another Green Line to Red Line to Quincy Adams and we were back on the road home. A great night of baseball and friendship...a great gift from the Lovely Mrs. B.  Yeah, I was grumpy at work and I pity the fools that got in my way at work on Wednesday, but it was worth it.

 

To be back at Fenway was fun and magical. Great memories of the past and a look at the place today. Yeah, it is way over commercialized and expensive, but it is still Fenway Park. I was there and the ghosts of Tris Speaker, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Jimmy Foxx, Lefty Grove, Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky, and Tony Conigliaro were all there as well with me.  It was baseball on a cold, raw April night, but it was a great night I will treasure for a long time.

 

 

Have a great weekend, all!

Deep Thoughts 4-16-14
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Jackie Robinson Boston Marathon Draft Day Old time baseball Tommy John and today's pitchers Arnold Palmer the most important golfer

 

 

Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. This week marks two very significant events. Tuesday was Jackie Robinson day and the anniversary of the bombing at last year’s Boston Marathon. MLB does a great job each year of recognizing Robinson by having each MLB player wear #42. While this is a great tribute, I have a question. On Jackie Robinson day, shouldn’t the Dodgers be playing at home? It really does seem like a slap in the face to me to not only have the Dodgers on the road…but playing at San Francisco. I am really scratching my head over this. I am also trying to understand why someone would leave two dummy backpacks at the Boston Marathon finish line. It is acts like this that make me wonder about the direction of our country. Sick…

BOB mentioned yesterday in his blog about Aldon Smith’s latest screw up. Telling TSA agents that you have a bomb is not very bright. This does not strike me as the act of a mentally stable person, but maybe he is just an idiot. Either way, I think BOB is right, Sheriff Goodell will ask Smith to take the year off. This is really a bad deal for the 49ers as their defense is not the same without him. But, I figure that this is out of the team’s hands at this point. It will be interesting to see if they cut him loose or save a spot for him.

I caught the movie Draft Day last weekend. If you like football, you will definitely like this movie. It was like a big spoonful of football. I would not say it is Costner’s best work, but it is definitely worth watching. It was interesting watching the behind the scene conversations. Given the timing of the approaching draft, it makes the current headlines rather intriguing. I saw on Tuesday that an “anonymous” NFL executive thinks that Clowney is “spoiled” and “lazy”. Teams are looking for any reason to cause a player to drop. Is this truly what this executive believes or is he trying to allow Clowney to fall into their lap? Johnny Manziel is slammed because he scores too high on the Wonderlic test. It is whispered that he may be too smart to be coachable. Vince Young was slammed because he scored too low on the test…maybe he is not smart enough to learn the playbook. It really is a game of chess. The media sucks up the words like a Hoover on steroids. I am not even sure that they realize that they are being played by the teams…either way, they are pawns. There was a time that we could believe what we read in the paper, but those times are long gone.

 

 

 

 

 

I have been reading an old book about baseball stories. I found the book at an antique store and figured for a few bucks it would be interesting to read. The stories are an assortment of short stories, poems…each one is different. There was the original story that I suppose the Field of Dreams was based upon. One very short story was about a guy that walked into a bar. A baseball game was on the small TV in the corner. An older guy sitting next to him started talking about baseball and complaining about the way games today (probably 40 years ago) are described. Lanz commented on BOB’s blog yesterday how Vin Scully used words to paint a picture of the game. That is exactly what this old guy was complaining about in this story. He missed listening to a baseball game on the radio; because those play by play guys painted that picture for their listeners…they had to. TV guys have gotten lazy. Most do not understand what it is to do a play by play. They use words like velocity instead of bringing the heat or throwing gas and location instead of nibbling around the corners. As I read this story, I realized that the old man was exactly right. I have spent those summer nights lying in my bed with my eyes closed…seeing the game through the words. I watch the game now, and don’t really listen as much to the words of the broadcast. Often, I think that I see as much or more than the guys doing the broadcast. Baseball is great today and I love being able to watch so many game on TV. But, there will always be something special about listening to a baseball game on the radio.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

I think we have all noticed how many pitchers are MIA this year. The dreaded phrase “Tommy John” surgery has been spoken 20 times this year. I started looking around trying to find some answers. One theory is that the MLB strike zone is so tight that pitchers have given up throwing slower breaking balls and now throw a cut fastball, slider and split finger fastball. Hitters spend hours watching video now. They are much more patient at the plate because they know that the tight strike zones favor hitters. There is some potential truth to this. Fastballs are thrown with the shoulder. Curveballs are thrown with the shoulder and wrist. The harder breaking balls all stress the elbow. I can see this, but I don’t think it tells the entire story. So I went to the expert on the matter…Dr. James Andrews. Dr. Andrews believes that there are several factors that are causing the UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) to fray and eventually fail. Kids are bigger and stronger and the UCL is just not able to keep pace with how hard the young pitchers are throwing. Also, baseball has become a year round sport in many parts of the country. He believes that young pitchers are not getting a break like they used to. Instead of putting away the baseball glove and picking up a football or basketball, they simply play on. A comment on the article about Dr. Andrews was spot on. He remembers listening to 2 visiting hockey coaches from Finland. They said if you want to be one of the best 12 year old players around then play year round. But if you want to still be a good player when you are 16 or 17 then drop the game when your season is over and play other sports that interest you because eventually water seeks its level and others will catch up or your zeal for the game will be greatly diminished

My son began playing tournament baseball when he was 11. But, we limited the amount of games that the kids played. But there are others that do not. I am a firm believer that playing all sports is of great benefit for young athletes. Focusing on one sport at a young age often burns kids out. It also can lead to overuse of a pitchers arm…which is what we are beginning to see at the professional level. There is really nothing that the MLB can do to change this, except perhaps offer direction. Baseball should spend time preparing messages to younger players and their parents. Most kids will never play professional baseball, but the facts should be known. Throwing a baseball is not a natural action. Throwing a baseball hard puts stress on the shoulder and elbow.

Based on this information, it does not appear that anything will change soon. For the record, of those 20 pitchers undergoing Tommy John surgery only one is from outside the US. It is clear that this problem is something that is homegrown. Hopefully, it will be something that we can soon begin to change.

 


 

 

 


Last weekend was the Masters. The big news leading up to this great tournament was that Tiger Woods would not be healthy enough to participate in this year’s Masters. I have been a big fan of Tiger Wood's golfing. I have watched him perform at a level that few have ever approached. I cheered Tiger on in his pursuit of the major championship record. But, in the back of my mind, I had a nagging feeling like I had forgotten something. This week, I was reminded what I had forgotten. For all of those wins, Tiger Woods will never have something…he will never be the King of golf. There has only ever been one man in golf that completely grabbed the fancy of the country and that was Arnold Palmer. Although, Jack Nicklaus will wear the crown of best player, it is Arnold Palmer that captivated our nation and brought attention to the game of golf. Men wanted to be Palmer and women just wanted him. Class, charisma and charm were characteristics of Arnold Palmer. When Palmer began to make a move up the leader board, he would hitch his pants and eagerly charge toward the next shot. The adoring crowds were called “Arnie’s Army” and they would announce a great shot with a surge of cheers. Seriously, there was no doubt when Palmer sank a long putt or hit a great shot. ..You just knew. He did not so much play golf, as attack the course. As a small kid, I remember thinking that there was something different about this man.  

 

 

 

 

Through all of his professional successes, Palmer remained a hero to every man. You cannot find anyone that will say something bad about Palmer. He has been a gentleman from the beginning. He always had time for a smile and a handshake. Athletes of today would do well to examine the manner that this giant of another generation has handled his business.

 

Here are a few facts about Arnold Palmer:

Hale Irwin said that he learned from Arnold that the most important part of being a professional golfer was what you did outside the ropes.

Palmer said that his father told him…You don’t need to tell anyone how good you are, you show them how good you are.

You can have a discussion over who is the best golfer of all time, but there is no question that Arnold Palmer has been the most important golfer of all time.

Johnny Bench named his son Justin Palmer Bench. Now, that is impressive.

Palmer represents the values of what America used to be. He is an American icon.

Arnold Palmer loved to add lemonade to his glass of iced tea…now that drink is called an Arnold Palmer.

There is so much more about Palmer to discuss. He beat prostate cancer in 1999, but has never quit his fight to beat the disease. He has donated money and been very outspoken to help raise awareness for fighting cancer. He built a Children’s hospital in Florida that remains one of the most impressive hospitals in the country for children.

 

Arnold Palmer brought attention and money to the PGA tour. He helped create the Senior Tour and the Golf Channel. He defined how to create a brand, by living his life doing good things. He began flying his own plane in the 1950s. In watching the golf channel story, it detailed how Palmer decided that at 80 years of age that he should leave the flying to someone else. On his last flight from the west coast to Orlando…he got the red carpet treatment from each airport that he was in communication with. Apparently, all of the airports across the country cleared the way for his flight. I am not a pilot, but supposedly, this is just not done. He did not have to wait for anything…which speaks to the respect that the air traffic guys had for Palmer as a pilot. From his humble beginnings, Palmer has created a huge place in American history…and he has done it the right way.

 

Tiger Woods has been a student of golf and has focused his attention to try to eclipse these records. It is a shame that Tiger does not understand that golf is only a small part of the legacy he will leave behind. It is sad, but I sort of see Tiger Woods as I do Barry Bonds. Both were great players that never realized the true meaning of being a champion. Arnold Palmer is 85 and won’t be with us much longer. It is time we took a moment to acknowledge just how special his life has been.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

                                                             I think that everyone is ready for the snow to stop...

 


 

 

 

This is a picture of the Utah Valley University baseball field. The UTPA Broncs headed to Orem Utah to take on the Wolverines last weekend. They took 2 out of 3, but could not close out the sweep on Sunday. Watching the games online, I could not help but admire the beautiful venue...at least until the weather turned bad on Sunday. Blake and his guys managed to just beat the snow out of town. Next week is a home series against Bakersfield. Hopefully, they can just keep winning 2 out of three. Taking a series the rest of the way will allow the Broncs to make the conference tournament in May.

 

 

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

 

 

"Too bad you can't buy a voodoo globe so that you could make the earth spin real fast and freak everybody out."

 

"If you're a young Mafia gangster out on your first date, I bet it's real embarrassing if someone tries to kill you. "

 

 

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

 

 

 

Sports Friday with Hal: April is the Cruelest Month
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Football Free agency draft news PEDs baseball booing

Happy Friday!  

 

March is finally in the rear view mirror and with it I can finally put away the snow shovels and be free of winter for another few months. With that, there is Major League baseball on the television, the Final Four teams are left in the NCAA Tournament with March Madness winding down, the NFL is about done with major free agent signings and turns towards the NFL Draft, and the NBA and NHL wind down the regular season and ready for the playoffs.

 

I had a great Wednesday night of sitting on the couch watching TV and working the remote with the Red Sox, Bruins, and Celtics all on the same night locally.  Had some half-price pizza and Pabst Blue Ribbon beers at the local watering hole with my buddy and the kiddos (no beer for them!) before that. The only downer being the lovely Mrs. B. was stuck working that afternoon and missed all the fun.

 

FAST BALLS:

 

A quick shout-out to O.H. whose blog yesterday got the wheels turning in my head--which is the reason we blog, right?  He touched on the return of Milwaukee Brewers outfield Ryan Braun from his 65 game suspension for P.E.D.’s.  Braun in Milwaukee, like Barry Bonds in San Francisco, received a powerful ovation from the home crowd and will soon be coming to the friendly confines of Fenway Park in Boston.  

 

I had commented that I would not be among those booing Braun if I were at Fenway that night.  Part of that reason is I am a big fan of Braun--a large part of that from him carrying various fantasy baseball teams of mine over the years.  Another reason is he is a player who really seems to enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to play baseball for a living.   But another part of me has another reason not to boo him.

 

I was at Fenway for Roger Clemens’ first game back to Fenway as a Blue Jay where he dominated Boston’s lineup and famously pointed to General Manager Dan Duquette’s box as he left the mound. I was booing my lungs out at the Texas Con Man that day. Loudly and lustily. Not only because he was pitching so well for the opposition after having a few rough years allegedly out of shape here, but mostly due to rejection. He rejected the Red Sox. My team!

 

Fans boo for various reasons.  Some is due to simply not liking the player/coach, etc for some reason or the other.  Sometimes it is just the opposing team itself.  Sometimes it is the player who scorned the team/franchise/city, etc. It may be respect for the player doing well against your team. Or it could be due to something the player did or did not do. There are countless reasons for booing.

 

But for Ryan Braun, he cheated the system and was caught and paid the price, but that is not the real reason for booing. He was so outspoken in his own defense prior to this suspension that it had a bit of a Lance Armstrong effect. Personally, I would think the fans of Milwaukee would be more likely to boo him: he hurt their home team last year with the stupid suspension.  

Ryan Braun never did anything to me personally. In addition, he never hit a home run to knock the Red Sox out of the playoffs (Bucky Dent and Aaron Boone); he never wasted my hard-earned money by taking the field overweight and out-of-shape (Roger Clemens); he never left the team in a messy divorce that came out before the biggest game in franchise history at the time (Bill Parcells); he never beat the home team with a game winning baby hook in the NBA Championship (Magic Johnson); and he never opened his big mouth and bad-mouthed the franchise I root for either (Rex Ryan).

 

Ryan Braun is an idiot. But I cannot boo him for using P.E.D.’s. In a way, it makes him a tragic figure.  He was tempted and he gave into the temptation. As such it is very hard to fault him.  If I were approached and told that taking something would allow me the opportunity to potentially secure my family financially for life and allow me to excel at the game I love for the price of some health issues many years down the road, it would be a difficult thing to say “no” to.  

 

It is a deal with the devil, but everyday there are thousands of people give up so much more for so much less each and every day.  

 

I guess I think of it now, and its not that I’m angry at Braun, or even feel upset that he succumbed to the P.E.D. pressure, but more sad for him that he gave in to the demon and was not strong enough to say “no”.

 

* * *

 

NFL NOTES:

 

The free agent signings are finally slowing down in the NFL, but as always there is plenty of NFL news each and every week.

 

The New England Patriots made an interesting move in bringing back safety Patrick Chung on  Thursday after he signed in Philadelphia last year. Chung did not burn bridges on his way out of Foxboro, MA (cough-cough Brandon Spikes cough-cough) and after one injury plagued season miscast as a free safety playing deep centerfield on defense, Chung is back as a back-up and special teamer.

 

Per ProFootballFocus.com, Chung missed 13 tackles and allowed five touchdowns in only twelve games (ten starts). Opposing quarterbacks had a 129.8 quarterback rating throwing at Chung, who was paid $3 million last year in the first year of a back-loaded deal.

 

Chung lost his job in New England in 2012 as he fell hard after the team benched him in the playoffs. Primarily a strong safety for the Patriots, the 2009 second round pick had an up-and-down career in his first run in New England. He was likely cheap (no contract details released) but he knows the defense, has some perspective after a year away, and will be competing for a job.

 

*

 

Speaking of the Eagles, Philadelphia finally had enough and released their mercurial and wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Jackson was raked across the coals with a report of gang ties in an NJ.com story right before his release which does not help out much in free agency. Either way, he found a home in the NFC East in a hurry with Washington. For the Redskins, they are able to get two motivated games from Jackson at least (visiting Philly and Philly at Washington DC), but even more importantly he upgrades a wide receiver group in need of another playmaker for franchise quarterback RGIII.  Will he behave? Will he produce? That is the big question. Three years for $24 million and $16 million guaranteed means presumably the ‘skins get a year of Jackson before he starts moaning about wanting a new contract.

 

For Jackson, the best landing spot would have been San Francisco with the 49ers top defensive unit and Colin Kaepernick at quarterback.  San Francisco with Jackson and Seattle with Percy Harvin and their defense would have made the best match-ups in the NFL into absolute must-see prime-time games. What a pity.

 

For the Redskins, having new head coach Jay Gruden get a new toy is a big deal. Pierre Garcon gets a little less attention and fellow new receiver Andre Roberts gets more single coverage as these three wide receivers should give running back Alfred Morris a few less defenders in the box as well.  I understand where Philadelphia is coming from with all the issues off-the-field with Jackson despite his excellent on-field talent.

 

*

 

The New York Giants continued a busy off-season of moves in free agency as they grabbed offensive tackle Charles Brown and defensive end Robert Ayers and cornerback Zack Bowman to shore up the defense at value prices. Earlier in free agency, the Giants made a splash signing underrated cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and took a flyer on former Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond. Adding further to the secondary they brought in safety Quintin Demps from the Chiefs. They also brought back wide receiver Mario Manningham on offense and signed Dolphins guard John Jerry and Chiefs guard Geoff Schwartz. The Giants even brought in return specialist Trinidad Holliday from the Broncos.

 

For all the talk of teams like New England, Denver, and Seattle loading up in free agency the G-men have flown under the radar this offseason. They have a number of solid veterans to step in and the team back into the playoff picture. Their offensive line and secondary were their Achilles heel last season, and they are reloading there with a vengeance.

 

*

 

OK, that’s all I have for this week. Have a great weekend, all!

 
Q-o-t-D 3/31/14 Tags: MLB Baseball

 

Are you ready for Baseball season?

 

Or do you need another month for it to warm up!?!

 

 

Deep Thoughts 3-26-14
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Mark Cuban and the NFL Spurs and Pop Shaq the tackler UTPA Baseball Max Scherzer and Yasiel Puig

 

 

Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. I know that many find Mark Cuban to be a loud mouth and generally an obnoxious ass. I have always enjoyed his outspoken nature and appreciate his obvious business acumen. I read with interest this week when Cuban poked the suits in the NFL with his comments about the NFL being in danger of over saturation. Honestly, is this any different than what many of us have been writing about the NFL? In case you missed it, the NFL is now talking about bringing an NFL game to Saturday night. I loved this Cuban quote: "Just watch. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I'm just telling you, when you've got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns on you. That's rule No. 1 of business." I love that saying about pigs getting fat. I used this often when talking about folks trying to grab the lowest interest rate on a loan. The NFL is sitting pretty now, but things can change and change quickly. Saturdays are for college football. Friday is for high school football. Maybe the NFL believes that they are too big to fail, but they are not. Hooray for Cuban for speaking the truth…even if some don’t want to hear it.

 

 

I think I have a solution for the Redskins. They can keep the name and just change their logo. Everyone wins...Seriously though, why can't people leave this alone. I am certainly no Daniel Snyder fan, but it really is ridiculous the way this will not die.

 

 


 

 

The NBA cracks me up. I admit to not paying too much attention to the game of late, but I was amazed to learn that the Spurs were on a 13 game winning streak (make it 14 after Tuesday night’s game).  Many believe the Spurs are an old team, but if you take a look at their roster, they are loaded with young players. Pop has quietly built a very solid roster. I admit that I sort of expected the Spurs to fade away once Duncan and Ginobli retired…but now, I am not so sure. Pop does an amazing job of finding players that fit the mold that he requires. He sort of reminds me of Belichick that way. The NBA obviously is not crazy about San Antonio and the lack of flash…but it wins games. So…with the Heat, OKC, Indiana and others getting the press, it is the Spurs that are fighting the good fight. Damn, I may have to start paying attention to the NBA again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you hear about Shaq having assault charges brought against him by a TBS employee? Apparently what Shaq considers horseplay, is not much fun for normal sized people. Shaq reportedly tackle/punched the employee then fell on him, injuring his back and neck. For all of Shaq’s faults, I truly have a hard time believing that Oneal would intentionally hurt someone. Of course, it would not be a stretch to think that a falling Shaq might cause damage to a “regular” sized person. Maybe this guy is really hurt, but I have a hard time buying it. The bad thing for Shaq is that intentional or not, he will probably have to pay. How much is a Shaq tackle is worth? I suppose we will soon see…

 

 

                                                    Maybe Shaq should sue Charles to recoup his money?

 

 


 

 

Julie and I made another mad dash for the valley last Friday afternoon. The starting catcher banged up his knee and it looked like Blake would be playing all three games. If you know college baseball, you realize that the best pitcher works on Friday night. The Broncs Friday night pitcher is a very good one…Sam Street. He really is one of the better arms in the country. He may not throw heat like the big boys at Vanderbilt or Texas, but he is a very advanced pitcher. He works in and out and changes speeds very well. At 6 and 0 with 4 complete games…he is a great college pitcher. Friday was UTPA’s first conference game against the New Mexico State Aggies and Street was money again. As we pulled into the parking lot in the 4th inning, the Aggies had loaded the bases. A walk, a missed call at 1B and a bunt single was the scenario as I turned off the car. As we walked into the stadium, the crowd reaction indicated a happy conclusion to the inning. As I quickly glanced at the scoreboard, the 0 under visitor confirmed my hunch. An infield fly and a double play allowed Street to work out of the inning. Street did not have his best stuff on Friday, but he pitched well enough to grab a win and another complete game. In our travels around the state this year, we have seen some very nice stadiums. I realized that although there may be more grand venues, but sitting in the front row behind home plate watching your son play is not all bad. Blake played pretty well. He was certainly not perfect, but is finally beginning to settle in. Here is the head coach Manny Mantrana discussing the weekend games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you happen to see the fight between Florida State and Florida? The pitcher has to make that play…

 

 

 

 

 

It seems that each week that I find something to say about the Cleveland Indians. I am not sure if this is some kind of sign, but the video I saw this week was too good not to share. I can only imagine how cool it would be to watch your son take his first at bat in major league game…even a spring training game. Tom Hamilton is a lucky man!

 

 

 

I refuse to acknowledge those two games in Australia as opening day. I know that the games count, but not for me. Opening day is next week…in the US. There were two baseball things that really stood out for me this week. Don Mattingly publicly calling out Yasiel Puig and Max Scherzer turning down a 6 year contract worth slightly more than $25 million per…wow. Why am I not surprised that Scott Boras is Scherzer’s agent. I learned that Scherzer wanted to stay with the Tigers, but wanted an 8 year deal. Obviously Tiger management is pissed that Scherzer turned down this offer and I can’t blame them. The thing that is sad about this is that this incident could seriously impact how the Tigers play this year. How are Scherzer’s teammates going to look at his refusal? Is it just a business? Or will it be taken personally? One thing I know is that he probably won’t get a warm reception at home this year.


Yasiel Puig’s nickname is “wild horse”. Given his game, it is an apt nickname. What surprised me is Donnie Baseball making light of Puig’s injury with an implication that he exaggerates his aches and pains…a whiner if you will. I guess what is more surprising is that Mattingly went to the press with his comments. I get that Mattingly may be somewhat frustrated with Puig, but it is not even April yet. The Dodgers and Tigers are two teams that could be playing in October, but unless they can put aside these distractions…they may find the season to be a troubled path.

 

 

That is all I have this week, but will leave you a bit of Jack Handey…

It's easy to sit there and say you'd like to have more money. And I guess that's what I like about it. It's easy. Just sitting there, rocking back and forth, wanting that money.

I wish I would have a real tragic love affair and get so bummed out that I'd just quit my job and become a bum for a few years, because I was thinking about doing that anyway.

 

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

 

 

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