I finally made it back to Atlanta this week, but my hopes of connecting with Sully were dashed by corporate executives. It was a long shot given the schedule while I was there, but I always hope to connect with him. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to hit up Sully because it’s always worth the time spent. This is the time of year my job changes from sitting around eating bon bons and giving advice to sitting around eating bon bons and crunching excel spreadsheets, then going around telling people what data I uncovered. The real problem is that it comes at the expense of vacationing on a beach somewhere.
Futures at Fenway. We went to the 9th "Futures at Fenway" Sunday. Short season Lowell Spinners played Mahoning Valley (OH) Scrappers at Fenway. The Red Sox affiliate was 1 out away (sound familiar anyone?) from a 1-0 win when somehow the Scrappers, a Cleveland Indians affiliate, scored 6 runs with 2 out in the 9th. Um. Ouch. When Shane Victorino was introduced, the fam couldn't figure out why everyone was cheering, so I calmly explained this guy happens to have the same name as a current Sox player. Oops.
I promise this will be the last soccer post for a while. Really.
This week saw the remarkable exit of host Brazil from the World Cup. Germany displayed dominance early and never relinquished control. 7-1 final – and you thought there wasn’t enough scoring in soccer. Not only scoring, but some of the most dominant displays of offense while scoring that I’ve seen. Just a ridiculous overpowering of the hosts unlike anything I could’ve imagined.
I’m hopeful Brazil is a much more forgiving place for soccer failure than, say, Columbia. In 1994, when the World Cup was hosted by the US, the US and Columbia were in the same grouping. In group play, Andres Escobar was charged an “own goal” against the US in a game won by the US 2-1, and thus contributing to the exit of Columbia from the tournament – ultimately won by Brazil. A couple weeks later, he was gunned down in a parking lot in Medellin.
That’s some hard core stuff.
Before Sunday, Germany and Argentina had met for the final 2 other times with the record split between them. Of the 21 championships, only 8 countries have won it. Consider that. A quadrennial tournament involving 64-countries and only 8 have ever won. Kind of reminiscent of 1950’s/60’s NHL dominance by the Habs, or the half century long dominance of Major League Baseball by the Yankees. Argentina went into the game as the 1986 Champion, there on the back of two of the most unusual goals in soccer history: “The Hand of God” and “The Goal of the Century” Diego Maradonna was a beast. Germany last were champions by defeating the reigning champs Argentina – who, as just discussed, won 4 years previously against England.
Those refs should be eternally thankful English fans aren’t quite like Colombian drug dealers when “correcting” for mistakes.
Here’s a video of the “Goal of the Century.” You should watch this even if you can’t stand soccer, because it shows just such amazing control and skill. You have to appreciate what Maradonna does here.
Germany reigns. 203 countries enter the competition, 64 countries get in. 800 some games. 4 year journey to this point. And then... After 113 minutes of scoreless action, Mario Gotze drilled a shot home to seal the World Cup deal for the Germans. Is there a more odd name than Mario Gotze? How many Germans do you know named Mario? Do yourself a favor, and click that link, because it's a pretty awesome goal. Bear in mind, the US lost to this same team 1-0. If nothing else, you have to believe the US Mens National Team has a ton of potential. They're ready for the world stage.
In other news, there was some movement in the NBA free agent market.
I hope everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July...Ours was good...Had some real good quality time with the kids...Saturday we visited my in-laws...That was rough...My father-in-law, while some things have improved, some things have gotten worse...Like the fact that he didn't know me...He asked my wife who I was...Then in the car, taking them to lunch, he asked if we had met before...I told him yes...He apologized, and I told him not to worry about it...Two minutes later he asked me if we had met before, again...Eventually, he accepted me...He didn't remember me, but he knew I was suppose to be there...It's a rough spot to see him in knowing how sharp he use to be...It was hard on my wife, but I told her, "he remembers you, that's important." He has no recollection of Molly, but he was going downhill since just before she was born...He never had a chance to make memories with her...it didn't stop her from giving hi big hugs when we left...
It ended up being an exhausting day...Then after we got home, we had to rush the puppy, Finnegan to the pet ER...He got stung by a bee in his paw...It swelled up, and he couldn't put weight on it...And tried biting anyone who tried to look at it...They took care of him quick, and he's doing fine...($124 later)...
You may be feeling what you felt Thursday when I posted THIS ...Just not feeling the Sports right now...I'm watching Baseball, and I'm falling in love, just like last year, with what the Pittsburgh Pirates are doing...They're fun and exciting to watch...
I had thought about writing about the NHL free agency madness...Now I can sit here and read all the idiot contracts given to defensemen who scored 5 goals and 13 assists, and pick apart what were good and bad moves...(most bad)...By I'm interested in that...A lot of people aren't...And it's even kind of boring to write about...
I could get into Brown WR Josh Gordon getting arrested for DUI as he's sitting there with 2 strikes against him from the NFL...But why? To say what we all knew already...He's a fucking idiot...A fucking 4 time loser who is pissing his talent and NFL career away...Maybe it's just me, but I'm just tired of reading and writing about athletes and their egos that have it all, but are just too fucking stupid to control themselves...
I could write about the buzz swirling here in Cleveland about the hopes of LeBron James coming back...But I hate basketball and if you've read my crap over the last 8 years, you know I've always hated the self proclaimed king...Long before "The Decision"...
But there's something that has gotten under my skin this 4th of July weekend...Anthony Cumia of the Opie and Anthony show was fired...Not for anything he said or did on the air...He was fired for exercising he freedom of speech on twitter...
Last week he was snapping pictures in New York city...He got pictures of lights, buildings, a tranny getting arrested, random shit going on in the city late at night...In one was a black women was snapped...Instead of talking to him about it, since it clearly bothered her, she called him a "white mother fucker" and began punching him...She punched repeatedly...He never hit back...He didn't pull his legally carried gun...Instead he tweeted his rage...He called her a "savage", an "animal" and a "cunt face"...He tweeted about the jump right to violence often seen in the black community...(I think its a problem in our entire society)...He tweeted numerous times, and some would be considered racial offensive...But more importantly he was talking honestly, brought on by anger, about a topic that everyone says we need honest discussion about, but whenever it's brought up, it's squashed immediately...
So first, stop saying you want honest discussion about race in this country...Because clearly a large portion of the black community doesn't want to, and a large portion of the white guilt driven media doesn't...
Second, I have listened to O&A for ten years...It's one of the only shows that will talk about ANYTHING honestly...Anthony has been called racist before, and has said racial harsh things before...I would say he's actually said more "offensive" things on the air...But in this country, if you say something that some have deemed "offensive" you automatically called racist, or sexist, or an asshole, or whatever the case may be, instead of your actions or words being taken as you wanting to get to the issue, and possibly get to a resolution...
Third, freedom of speech is dying, and its dying quickly...Everyone is afraid to speak their mind for fear that one weak-minded, low self-esteem having, twat will get upset...Then they'll beat the drum to try and ruin your life for what you said...Radio guys, TV talking heads, actors, they're just the start...Comedians will be next...Oh no a joke hurt some ones feeling...Your career is over! But just wait...It will start happening at your office or whatever shitty job you and I have...Some dick-bag won't like that joke you made about Jews...You'll go for the quick comeback punch line, 'If you cant take the heat, get out of the oven!'
I don't care if you agree with Anthony Cumia or not...Sometimes I don't, sometimes I do...But we should all back him up in his right to speak his mind freely...I don't agree with a lot of awful shit said in this country, by a lot of fucking assholes, but I will always support their right to say their idiot shit...Fuckers are just making me look smarter...
I know kids...The Beeze has been a little salty and not bitching about sports...I'm in a different place right now, and I want this country, and this world to be better place for my kids...Honestly, some days, this is the only thing that keeps me from choking some fuckers out....
I figure that's a nice note to end on...Have a week...
Holy shit this week has dragged...Been a long hard couple weeks here folks...I've been having some serious back issues, and my tits aren't nearly as big as Kate Upton's...
Actually the problem was noticed by numbness I've been having in my leg...It got to the point were it was driving me nuts, so I saw my doctor...I was having pain in my lower back as well...So best guess, pinched nerve...Can't know for sure without a MRI...Can't order one because of insurance companies...See a Neurologist...
So I go this guy...Dick just asks me a bunch of questions...Didn't look at my leg or back...He says, well insurance won't let us order a MRI until we jump through some hoops...You're going to have to get X-rays of your back an knee...Then do physical therapy, and take these steroids...These steroids that could kill you because they make you susceptible to every infection and virus know to man..."Then when that doesn't work, we should be able to order the MRI."
No shit...That's what he said...America, our healthcare system, and the scam that is insurance are totally fucking, fucked! And this was true long before The Affordable Healthcare Act...AKA: "Obamacare"...AKA: RomneyCare Light...And we actually have a decent insurance plan, so holy shit, the folks with shit plans are really deep dicked...
Saturday came around and I could barely standup...I could barely walk...Awful pain in my back...The numbness in the leg was bad, but disappears when the burning sensation kicks into high gear...Wow, does that get rough at the end of my shifts at work...9:00PM it starts coming on, and by 11:00PM, I want to skull fuck every living thing to death, but that would end up hurting me more than them...But I worked my shift...Why? 1. there was no one to cover it...2. I'm a man...I'm an American man...That's what we're suppose to do fuckers...There's too many young people that don't seem to get that shit...This country is getting soft, physically and mentally...And emotionally...
In New Jersey an animal, ( I can't call her a women) beat the hell out of another women in front of her two year old...a dozen people stood by and filmed it, instead of using their phones to call the police...No one tried to stop it...Except the two year old...No one stepped in when the animal threatened to kick him in the face...Mentally Soft and Physically too Scared to act like a human....Charges should be pressed against all those fuckers standing around...
TV Food guy Adam Richman posted a picture on Instagram of himself, wearing a suit he bought when he was fat...He has since lost 70 pounds...Damn good for a guy who makes his living stuffing unhealthy food down his face...He did it out of pride, and to inspire people, using the #Thinspiration...He was attacked because those bitches that stick their finger down their throats, apparently think they own that hashtag...Richman, unlike many fired back, instead apologizing on his hands and knees...He called people cunts...Told some one to eat a bag of shit...Even offered suicide as a solution for one hatched wound....Pretty harsh...GOOD...I'm supporting him 100%...People want to talk shit to celebrities via social media, but whenever that person fires back, they get screwed....Richman's new show has been postponed...Possibly cancelled...That's Bullshit...Emotionally and Mentally Weak!
Warren Sapp and some friends were out to eat, and left no tip...Why because the server called them "Boys"...As in, 'Here ya go boys!' You know, like servers do...Or they call you hun, or honey, or hey guys...Shit like that...Shit servers say to seem inviting, or friendly, or flirt for a tip, or whatever mask they need to put on, so they don't take your eye out with a fork for being such a needy asshole!
I never like Warren Sapp...He's always seemed like a fuck-tard to me...I've even had a back and forth with him on twitter over some idiot shit he said...Which of course was followed by more idiot shit, because he's an idiot...And I know, many black men are offended by being called "Boy" or "Boys" because fucking ages before they were ever born, some white fucking assholes called black men boy in a demeaning way...Sorry Warren, but I don't think that waitress is about to get into slave trading you Emotionally Weak, and Mentally Weak bitch!
You may have guessed, I'm not talking sports today...Sorry...You know what's hilarious...So many people just rambling on about Soccer like they were the biggest fans...Boom, the U.S. lost Tuesday, and all these ass-hats went quiet...Good...Glad you got that shit out of your system...Now you nut up, and go back to being an American again...Look at Kate Upton eat a popsicle...Blow off some fireworks...Eat a big fucking steak...Drink beers...Take some Motrin and tell yourself your back is fine...That's what I'm gonna do!
Happy 4th of July!
Watch out Kate...This gal knows what she's doing....
Welcome to another installment of Monday Moaning...You will read nothing about Soccer here...Sorry folks, but I can admit what so few people seem to be able to lately...I'm American...I don't give a fuck about soccer...Don't watch it, don't act like I have a clue about it...don't waste my time, money or energy bothering to pretend to give a shit...It's soccer...Let's be honest, in a couple weeks 90% of you will be back to not giving a shit...
So what should be the big topic this week...Is it the rumors that LeBron James kids have been enrolled in a Northeast Ohio school...No...DON'T FUCKING CARE!
How about this...Friday night I attended what will be my last Major League Baseball game...Unless by some freak way I become rich....My wife's company got tickets for the staff and their families for the Indians and Tigers game...And good seats...The Club seats...You know a "higher class of fans" until they put us there! Supposedly the food is better...There's a full blown bar and dinning room...With the seats food and soda (pop for Ohioans) were free...Well thank you, because if I paid for that crap, I would have puked it back up into their faces...
Yes, I cook for a living, and I know quality food...But I love a good burger...I like greasy fries, and all kinds of unhealthy regular Joe shit...That's what I eat, because cooking in a fine dinning restaurant doesn't make you rich!
Seriously, I had a burger and fries that were nauseating...Then some one pointed out a buffet line with "the good food"..."pesto alfredo with fettuccini"...except there was no pesto in it...Hell, there was no alfredo in it...It was buttered noodles with a splash of cream and parsley...Au Gratin potatoes, that were disgusting...One bite and you could taste the powdered cheese and milk mixture on the under cooked potatoes..."Braised Beef"....NOPE...barely boiled meat is what it was...I bet I've taken shits that would taste better!
I was physically ill...And I hardly ate...Later my wife got an old school pretzel...Best thing she ate all night...And beers...Beers at a ballgame are as American as a teenage loser fucking an apple pie...Ummm, or something like that....Beer prices ranged from $7.50 to $9.00... I stuck to free Dr. Pepper...Hell, this was the wife's outing, I was driving, she handled the drinking duties...She had a couple beers then her and her friend went to the bar for cocktails...Which were around $10...So we dropped about $50 on just getting her primed up for postgame fun...
Oh, I mentioned I was driving...We live 10 minutes from downtown Cleveland...We left a hour before the game...We sat in traffic for at least 40 minutes because there's so much road construction not getting done, that half the city is shutdown...BLOW ME!
Then after parking, which I went budget and found a $10 lot, which means a little more walking, but fuck paying $35 to park...We get to the Stadium...The game has started, and we stand in line for 10 minutes, waiting to get through the metal detectors...I remember a time when this didn't happen at stadiums...And yes, we are a more scared, and frightened nation these days, mainly because there are just so many worthless, fucking, nut-case assholes out there...
So here is the choice...Should I be inconvenienced by waiting in a long ass line and missing an inning or two because there is a chance some fuck-tard wants to shoot up a stadium? Or should save the $67 per ticket, stay in the safety of my own home, watch the game on my HD-TV, drink my 6-pack that cost as much as one beer at the stadium, and eat fucking awesome food that I made myself?
I think that's an easy question...MLB, and the Cleveland Indians, you won't be getting anymore of my money...
As for the game...The Tribe lost 6-4, but my fantasy team scored HR's from Victor Martinez, JD Martinez, Carlos Santana, and Asdrubal Cabrera, plus hits from Kinsler and Brantley, so I felt like a winner...
Busy one for me today...on the road for training at work so a couple quick hits. Besides, for someone who can accused of being emotionally distant, I sure dug deep the past two weeks for my Don Zimmer tribute and my Father’s Day and sports. Heck, I’m spent.
My (Twitter) buddy Steve Palazzolo at ProFootballFocus.com (OK, I doubt he knows who I am, but I enjoy his analytical articles) but he had a great piece this week examining where quarterbacks in the NFL throw the ball as far as distribution to receivers, backs, and tight ends (Link is here: https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2014/06/18/qbs-in-focus-pass-distribution/ - not sure if it is free content or subscription only).
Anyway, a couple of key points:
First while discussing throwing the ball to wide receivers:
“Tom Brady led the league with 473 passes to receivers detached from the formation”
“Ryan Tannehill with the highest percentage of his attempts in this area at 81.9%”.
Surprising considering how maligned the New England wide receivers were last season. That said, with tight end Rob Gronkowski and receiving running back Shane Vereen injured the ball had to go somewhere.
Also, is this an indication of how underrated Tannehill is leading the Dolphins attack or an indictment of Tannehill in recognition he throws short passes and has no help out of the backfield and at tight end?
When throwing to outside the numbers/sideline wide receivers:
“Tannehill led the way with 274 attempts to outside receivers.”
“Peyton Manning’s...29 touchdowns to outside receivers led the league.”
With age increasing and no Eric Decker in Denver, is Manning going to replicate those numbers? I doubt it, but Denver does need to save some money for wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. Remember, it was former head coach Josh McDaniels who wisely picked Thomas over Dez Bryant in the 2010 NFL Draft. Denver is still reaping the rewards of that decision.
When it came to throwing to slot receivers, Palazzolo wrote:
“Most would probably expect Brady to lead the way in attempts to the slot, but it was Drew Brees’ 214 attempts that paced the league while Sam Bradford and Andrew Luck led with 37.3% of their passes targeting the slot (includes all players lined up in slot).”
I think this is more about having limited production out of Danny Amendola and having to move wide receiver Julian Edelman all over the field to get favorable match-ups with such limited options after injuries wracked the squad in the second half of the season. Ditto for Andrew Luck in Indianapolis with Reggie Wayne injured and T.Y. Hilton moved all over the formation.
With throwing passes to running backs, obviously having Darren Sproles helped this and the Saints will have a hard time replacing Sproles this season:
“Brees leads this group as well with a league-high 197 attempts and 1243 yards on throws to running backs.”
“16 of Matthew Stafford’s league-leading 58 drops came from running backs.”
“Cam Newton benefitted from a league-high 11.3 YAC per completion on passes to running backs out of the backfield.”
“Tannehill threw to running backs out of the backfield on only 10.4% of his passes, the lowest percentage in the league.”
For Tannehill, the running backs were terrible runners and worse receivers, so he cannot be blamed there. For Stafford, Reggie Bush was supposed to be the remedy to the passing game, so seeing the backs averaging a drop per game is hideous. Cam Newton had better find his running backs in 2014 in the passing game, because he has no receivers to throw the ball to in the passing game.
Is there a more fun team to watch in 2014 than the Kansas City Royals? (OK, not for the gabbers with much love for the Detroit ballclub). Kansas City has streaked to first place on a winning streak and seem balanced and consistent on offense and in the rotation.
Kansas City took two games against the Yankees, two more against Terry Francona and the Indians, and then three more against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. For a team that was four games below .500 (26-30) on June 1, the Royals are are hot while the Tigers got cold. Detroit enjoyed a season-high seven-game lead on May 18, then dropped seven of eight to allow its American League Central challengers—the Royals included—to tread water or catch up.
A huge key to the Royals’ rise has been the apparent return of Eric Hosmer’s power. Hosmer slugged 17 homers in 159 games last year, pretty bad for a “power-hitting” first baseman. At the end of the day on June 6, Hosmer was hitting .260 BA/.300 OBP/.352 SLUGGING. Hosmer began to turn his season around on June 7, when he slugged a homer in an 8-4 win over the Yankees. He went deep again two days later and again on Sunday.
The Royals won the first two games of their four-game tilt with the Tigers by shelling Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. On Wednesday, left-hander Drew Smyly limited the visitors to two runs in seven innings of work. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Jeremy Guthrie outpitched him.
Kansas City gave its starter a quick 1-0 edge in the top of the first, when Eric Hosmer continued his hot hitting and picked up a one-out single, stole second, and scored on an infield hit from second base on an errant throw.
Smyly settled in after that, but Guthrie was in a groove. By the time the Tigers figured Guthrie out in the seventh, the Royals were up by two. The win was the Royals’ 10th in a row. That’s a sentence no one’s been able to type in two decades!
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When play began on Wednesday, the Dodgers—thanks to Red Sox Beer and Chicken washout Josh Beckett—were the only major-league team that could boast about a no-hitter this year. That’s still true. Only now they have two of them, after the best pitcher in baseball, Clayton Kershaw, ripped through the Rockies in L.A..
The left-hander was perfect through the first six innings, retiring all 18 batters he faced. Ten of those 18 went down via the strikeout. And Kershaw had accomplished all of that on less than 80 pitches. With the Dodgers ahead 8-0 Kershaw took the mound in the seventh poised to keep on rolling. Moments later, two ground balls to the left side of the infield would define the game’s place in baseball history.
Corey Dickerson led off the top of the seventh with a slow chopper to short, soft enough that Hanley Ramirez needed to hurry, but hard enough to give him ample time to make the play. Ramirez fielded the ball cleanly, but his off-balance throw bounced wide of first base, beyond the reach of Adrian Gonzalez. The game was no longer perfect, but the no-hitter remained intact.
Two batters later, Troy Tulowitzki put it in jeopardy. Tulo hit a rocket down the third-base line where rookie Miguel Rojas was up to the task. Rojas preserved the no-no, and Kershaw took it the rest of the way. He struck out the next three batters he faced and did the same to Dickerson with two away in the last of the ninth. His final strikeout out was Kershaw’s 15th of the evening—a new career high—and it came on his 107th pitch.
Per BaseballProspectus.com, the slider that ended the game striking out Dickerson was the 31st throw by Kershaw, the 27th that went for a strike, and the 12th at which the Rockies swung and missed. Yes, the curve is his best pitch and his fastball is nasty. When he has all three working, Kershaw is...well, unhittable!
Most important from that win is that the Dodgers, now just four games behind the scuffling Giants, may still have ample time to repeat as National League West champs.
* * *
I will have “my” Father’s Day this weekend after a busy weekend last week that saw us visiting the parental units and my wife busy, busy with work. I figured I already had my Father’s Day with our trip to Pawtucket, RI for the PawSox on Sunday June 8th when we got to see Joey Votto on rehab, former Yankees starter Chien Ming Wang, and former Cubs closer Carlos Marmol for the Louisville Bats (Reds minor league team). Great game. Saw prospect Mookie Betts, ate a hot dog (reasonably priced), had a few beers, and four box seats behind first base cost less than $50. God bless minor league baseball!
Carlos Marmol, wild as ever!:
Mookie Betts, soon to be starting in centerfield in Boston:
Justin Henry, 2007 9th round pick by the Tigers now at Pawtucket. At 29 years old, the second baseman/outfielder/utility fielder is not likely to see the show, but these are the kind of players I root for the most: he is playing on pure love of the game at this point and a dream to one day make it--even for a cup of coffee--in the show. Not much power, some speed, versatility, and over 800 minor league games and counting without an MLB at bat...but I'm rooting hard for him. Good luck, Justin.
OK, that’s all I have this week so thanks as always for stopping by to read--yes, I still miss DVT over here too on Fridays -------> but glad for his update last month and hope he stops by again soon. Glad he’s doing well. Stormin’Norman and Sully have been killing it next door at 2.0 so be sure to swing over and visit them as well today.