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Deep Thoughts 7-16-14
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB...All Star game Derek Jeter Mike Trout MVP Adam Wainwright LeBron James...genius? Bill Simmons on LeBron

 

Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. As I sat Tuesday night watching the All Star game, I struck me that the baseball season was half way over. Yeah…I know technically this is not the half-way point, but for me…the All Star game signifies the mid-point of the season. Today is July 16th…damn, where does the time go? Soon we will be talking football training camps and then fall will be upon us. But, I will not jump ahead.

 

 

 

 

For those of you that watched the All Star game, I think you will agree that this was a pretty well-played game. Derek Jeter got another start at shortstop and added a double and a single to his career All Star game hit total. Although I did not vote for Jeter, I appreciated the opportunity to watch him in one last All Star Game. For my money, MLB is the only game that offers an All Star game that is worth a damn. The game is a chance to honor those players that have had a great season and to provide the fans a chance to see their favorite players. When I vote, I specifically look at the numbers. But I acknowledge that players like Derek Jeter have earned the starting spot based upon putting together many great years. In my opinion, the All Star game is for the fans. I was rather pissed when reading comments to an article Tuesday night. A fan was complaining about Jeter being the starting shortstop for the AL and how unfair it was that another more qualified player was possibly left off the roster. He went on to say that the All Star game only comes around to each city once in a long while and that the fans want to see the best players not old players like Willie Mays…really? I would walk to Houston if I could turn the clock back to watch Willie Mays play…in his prime or not. What many fail to realize is that seeing a Derek Jeter will mean much more to some 11 year old kid than watching another AL shortstop. In 30 years or so that 11 year old kid will be talking about the time he saw the great Derek Jeter. This is a moment in baseball history and will forever remain with those fans in attendance Tuesday night.

It is funny how we seldom appreciate greatness as it appears routinely in our lives. I knew Jeter was a good shortstop, but I never really stopped to see what the guy was doing. He never hit a ton of HRs, so he sort of flew under the hype radar. He simply did his job better than any of his peers…day after day, year after year. With the two hits in Tuesday night’s game…Jeter finishes with 13 hits in 27 All Star at bats…an average of .481. Only three players have had 2 three hit All Star games…Mays, Yaz and Jeter. The greatness of Jeter was disguised by the routine way that he went about his business. Never did Jeter seek the limelight. I had to laugh at the response Jeter gave Tuesday night when asked about the reason that he worked so hard at doing his job…”my team had a habit of cutting players that did not play hard.” Can you imagine Jeter being cut by the Yankees? That is so Jeter…not putting himself above being replaced. There is something special in this approach and I wish more players adopted this attitude. Derek Jeter is a throw-back for sure…but I saw another player Tuesday that fits the same mold…Mike Trout. Now, Trout does not exactly fly under the radar, but what I see is a guy that wants to play the game the right way. He takes care of his business and supports his teammates. Off the field, he understands that his actions reflect upon his team…just like Jeter. It is refreshing to see a 22 year old being a professional. I know my friends that are Tiger fans would have liked to see Miggy pick-up the MVP trophy on Tuesday…but I figure Trout was due.

 

 

 

 

 

The other big news from the game Tuesday was Adam Wainwright commenting that he gave Jeter some cookies to hit. He backed off this statement when he realized that his statements were going crazy on twitter. The reality is that even if this is true, it does not demean the night for Derek Jeter. It does make Adam Wainwright look like a putz for not having the sense to keep his mouth shut. I understand players wanting to show respect to a Derek Jeter, but I have no doubt that Jeter would have preferred to see Wainwright’s best stuff. Even so…a cookie at 90 mph does not hit itself. The All Star game is an exhibition game and the fact that Wainwright chose to challenge Jeter instead of attempting to deceive him should be perfectly acceptable. I am glad that this will be the last All Star game for Bud Selig. Hopefully, the new commissioner will make at least one change...remove the home field advantage going to the winner of this game. This game is an exhibition game for the fans and does not need anything else to make it important. Let the team with best season record have the World Series home field advantage.

 

I saw a great tribute to Jeter this week and felt it was only fitting that I add it here…I join those in this video tipping my hat to the career of Derek Jeter.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2128910-jordan-brand-rolls-out-moving-re2pect-tribute-for-derek-jeter?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=programming-national

 

By the way...the AL won 5 to 3.

 

 

 

 

       Ooops...someone at the All Star game forgot to add Derek Norris to the list for car signs...thank goodness for teammates.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

By now, everyone has heard that LeBron James is headed back to Cleveland. I will not pretend that I knew where LeBron was headed. But, I had a sense that he was tired of carrying the entire load in Miami. I read a very interesting article by Bill Simmons. You really should check it out...http://grantland.com/features/god-loves-cleveland/

Simmons makes some very bold statements regarding LeBron. He calls him an NBA genius; “unparalleled NBA genius” were the exact words that Simmons used. He feels that James follows in the footsteps of Larry and Magic and of course…MJ. At first glance, I scoffed at these comments. Yes, there is no doubt that James is a great player…but to put him the company of these three, is beyond what I can accept. After reading Simmon’s thoughts…I do admit to having more insight into the actions of LeBron James. I know what some of you are probably thinking…James is an attention whore. He cannot win without a strong supporting cast. But, if you take a close look at the team he won two championships with in Miami…that is not totally the case. In fact, if you want to take a close look at the supporting casts of Bird, Magic and MJ…I suppose you would say that they might have had a superior group around them. Certainly anyone would have to agree that those championship Laker and Celtic teams were loaded with talent. Even MJ needed Pippen to win championships. There is a clip of MJ stealing a game in the Simmons’ link…it sure brought back some great memories and reminded me just how good MJ was…damn.

I suppose what bothers most of us about LeBron it is not so much what has happened but the manner that he went about it. The “Decision” for me was the beginning of my dislike for the man. I saw this event as a self -absorbed act that was beyond selfish. The big three getting together to create a championship team in Miami smacked of arrogance and contempt for the system. In truth, the NBA is not what it was 20 years ago. The league is full of players more concerned with their “brand” and bank account than playing the game as a team. I suspect that this is why so many jumped gleefully onto the Spurs championship bandwagon and were delighted to see Miami go down in flames. But, the actions of others are not the fault of LeBron. I really do think that LeBron got tired of carrying the heavy load in Miami and realized that the Big 3 was more LeBron than Wade and Bosh. Hey…I don’t feel sorry for Miami, they have 2 championships to show for the 4 years of LeBron and that is not such a bad deal for them. In truth…they got what they paid for and in the end, got what they deserved.


I really thought that the letter published in SI was a perfect way for LeBron to announce his return to Cleveland. In fact, I think compared to the “Decision” it was a stroke of genius. Now, we can discuss who wrote the letter or whose decision it was to write the letter…but ultimately, it was on James to make the choice. I do know that how James returned to the Cavs was a whole lot better than how he left. Comparing his 4 years in Miami to four years in college is sort of corny, but it also sort of works for me. When you stop and realize that James has played in the league for 11 years and he is still not 30 years of age. Perhaps James did need to go to Miami to figure out how to win? Maybe he returned to Cleveland because he was tired of being the villain? This got me to thinking…LeBron has gone from villain to hero with this move. What other villains have successfully made this transaction? I came up with a short list of what I consider to be the most notable. If I have forgotten a few, please throw them in. Here is my list:

 

  1. Darth Vadar

  2. The Grinch

  3. Scrooge

  4. Terminator

  5. Severus Snape

  6. Cat Woman

 

 

 

I know that for some of you, there is nothing that LeBron James can do at this point to change your opinion. But when I take a close look at James, I see a kid that has grown up with less than a favorable role model. He did not attend college and have the influence of a college campus or a college coach. In spite of this, the man has kept his nose clean. He has not been arrested and is not in strip clubs partying it up. This is man has a family and it is my hunch that there is real substance in his move to return to Cleveland. Thomas Wolfe says "you can't go home again"...but LeBron is attempting to prove otherwise. It could be that LeBron is added to above list; only time will tell. If LeBron can win a few championships in Cleveland, I will be happy for the Cav fans. With the bad times they have been through, it would be great to see them celebrate. But...to become a hero for me, James will need to stay in Cleveland. For others...I don't think it will matter. At the end of the day, LeBron James must learn to be true to himself and his family and in the end, that is all that will matter.

 

 


 

I could not finish this week without taking a moment to mention that Alex Rodriguez is being sued by his attorney for non-payment…I don’t know if I find this more funny or ironic. Character sure has a way of exposing itself, doesn’t it…

 


 

That’s all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…

 

"One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no,' I said. 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down, he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late."

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Buzz from the Bleachers
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

Welcome to Wednesday, Gabbers! We’re midway through the MLB season, which means we’re facing the end of summer. Get ready for the dog days. This will be followed quickly by the chill of fall, apple picking, and football.

We’re midway through another great MLB season.  Last night Derek Jeter got his due at the All-Star game. There are a scant 80 some games left for Jeter, as the Yanks will likely miss the post season. As much as I know a lot of us hate the Yanks and even Jeter, it’s really hard to hate Jeter. He played against and alongside A-Roid, which set up a great contrast between a guy who did it the right way and a guy who could have but cheated.

Jeter did things right, even if many feel his team didn’t. He was a product of the Yankee farm system. He worked for his spot on that team. He earned the captainship. He was a clean superstar in the steroid era. He didn’t have power and his glove left him about halfway through his career, but he did so many things well.

Meanwhile, another star is struggling to stay put. The Phillys have struggled mightily this season. It’s hard to say why, though age seems to have caught up to a number of their players. The rumor mill has the Phillys shopping their all-star, Chase Utley, to any team that could get them help. Utley, for his part, wants to stay. He says he loves Philly. It’s hard to think of many guys who have put in as much time as Utley (14 seasons). I’d love to see Utley get the chance to go out with the same team, just as Jeter has.

UP to the North, Bud Selig has recently exhumed the ghost of the Expos. Selig says Montreal would be a great choice for an expansion team. The Expos moved down to Washington DC after failing to draw in crowds. They failed to get more around 1 million fans in their final seven seasons. Recently, the Jays and Mets played an exhibition series in Montreal and drew around 96 thousand people. There could yet be hope.

Before I leave, I have some quick projections for the rest of the season. I feel the Tigers and A’s will hold on to their divisions. I see the Blue Jays overtaking the Orioles. The Angels and Orioles will take the Wild Cards. I still like the Giants, Cards, and Braves in the National League.  I think Washington and Cincy take the Wild Cards.

That is it for me this week. Thanks as always for stopping in. I’m hoping the AL holds their one run lead at this point. Anything that can help the Tigers. Have a great end of the week.

Musings From The Hoodwood 7-15 Video Edition
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NBA World Cup MLB

 

All New Video Blog...Princess Katie takes over the Hoodwood?

Tuesday's Tantrum, 7/15/14
Category: FEATURED

Welcome to the tantrums, where my wife came home safe after almost a week at those fires, literally just in time for her 48th birthday, so we hit the new Brazilian Steakhouse!  I can’t tell you all enough, if you haven’t gone to one of these and you have some extra cash, by all means go.  It is well worth the price in my opinion.  Anywho, I’ve got a lot I want to share this week and precious little space to fit it all in, soooooo…

Douche Bag of the Week.  Going to COSTCO to get shopping done isn’t a bad experience, there’s always the free food, but what I want to talk about is the ongoing issue of censorship, and last Tuesday, I found out that they are taking Dinesh D’Souza’s book “America” from their shelves because ALLEGEDLY, COSTCO is a major Obama supporter. If this is true, this should send chills throughout everyone everywhere.  What folks, you don’t think that when the Republi-tards get back in power that their supporters won’t remove pro-democrat stuff from their shelves?  This is getting Orwellian and I'm seriously beginning to question how much more regular joe six-packs are gonna take.

For that COSTCO, you get the award.  Enjoy your award…

Well, I guess after it got out and outrage grew, COSTCO reversed course and put the book back on its shelves.  No boycotts here, just me saying they’re douche bags.  I’ll still continue to shop there because after all, they have good deals and as consumers, we all need that.             

All-Star Weekend.  The Family B.O.B. 2014 Baseball Adventure continues with the surprise that my son Jerry was invited by a friend to attend the Home Run Derby at Target Field last night, and here are some pics…

     

 

The first pic was one I found on the net as a rainbow was going through.  The other two are from Jerry on top of the Budweiser suites.  As it turns out, Jerry has a friend from high school who works for Budwesier in some big wig way, and he is a guest in their area of the stadium.  Free food, free alcohol, and free room to stay in.  Thank you Tanner, and we’ll see you again in a few weeks.

Candlestick Park – Final Farewell.  If you’ll bear with me, I am going to be as Keith Olbermann put it, “bathed in nostalgia” for this part of my blog.  It’s a bit of a diversion for me, but I hope you’ll read on.  Thanks to my daughters boyfriend, Family B.O.B. had the great pleasure to attend the final athletic event ever at Candlestick Park:

I came, I saw, I conquered the weather.  As we know Mark Twain is alleged to have said “The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco.”  Well I’m here to tell you that while that may be a tad bit excessive, I was warmer at an NFL game on December 30th than I was last Saturday Night, July 12th.  As expected, the wind was blowing hard, the fog came in after the game hiding the Super Moon, and everybody was wearing sweaters, hoodies, and jerseys and jackets of both San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins.  Vendors were selling Hot Chocolate.   But that in no way dampened the enthusiasm of the fans that came.

Candlestick Park hosted its final football game:  a charity flag football game (to benefit SFPD and SFFD charities) between a team of Joe Montana’s 49er legends versus a team of Dan Marino’s all-stars.  60 retired NFL players, many hall of famers were on hand to play.  Montana, Young, Rice, Craig, Rathman, Lott, Charles Haley, John Taylor, Dwight Clark, and it really was a nice trip down memory lane.  Meanwhile on the other side were Dan Marino, Drew Bledsoe, Dave Krieg, Mark Jackson, Ed McCaffrey, James Lofton, Anthony Munoz, Tony Casillas, Tim Brown, & others.   These guys might be our age, but some of them still have some magic left, there were some cuts and jukes that made me think they’ve still got it. 

The game was two running clock 40 minute halves, and an 80 yard field for all the old farts.  They had to cross 20 yards in four downs to continue drives.  To the delight of the nearly 30,000 who showed up, Joe Montana took snaps and hit Jerry Rice repeatedly, as did Steve Young after him.  If I recall correctly, Rice has two TD's and Steve Young scrambled for another.

In the second half Tim Brown scored a touchdown for the NFL All-Stars and he lifted his jersey to show Raider t-shirt underneath and the predictable outrage (all in fun this time) occurred. 

Marino's All-Stars came back and took a lead, but with 6:00 left to go, Joe Montana came back in and drove his team down the field one last time.  There was a play where Joe Montana took the snap and hit Steve Young on the left side with a Screen Pass.  Young scrambled, then tossed it back to Montana who scrambled a bit, then found Jeff Garcia down the field for a 15 yard game.  The crowd went nuts!!!

With seconds left and the 49ers at the two yard line down 40-39, there was some weird commotion on the sidelines and nobody could see what was going on.  The ball was snapped, Montana rolled right, drifting, drifting, drifting, throwing the ball into the back of the end zone and it was caught by EDDIE DEBARTOLO, JR., the owner of those great 49er teams who was wearing a 49er jersey with the number 1 on it!!!  Yeah, it was scripted to look like “the catch”, and you know what?  Not one person of the 40,000 gave a damn.  The place absolutely erupted!  The 49er legends “won” the game 45-40.

Montana took the mike and said thanks to the fans for the years of support, made some vague references to not being too sad about leaving the ole park, and made some wisecracks about the biggest expense to the game was the ice needed for the old bodies – and the beer in the locker room.  Kinda douchy, but that’s expected of him.  Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience seeing the 49er legends one final time in “action.” 

After the game while exiting the stadium, I got to thinking about all the history of the place I was about to walk out of for the final time.  As silly as this sounds, I was kind of sad, but then I thought about all the great memories this place hosted.  I could sit here and waste keystrokes and bore you with print, so really the best I can do is put up video highlights I found on YouTube.  It was a great video, and I hope you enjoy watching when Football was pretty damn special, at least to me: 

 

I also remembered the great moments as a Baseball park as well despite the fact that between 1960 and 1999, the Giants only won two National League pennants (1962 and 1989), but Lordy did they have some name players:  Mays, McCovey, Marichal, Cepeda, Will Clark, and characters like Gaylord Perry and enigmas like Dave Kingman.  Again some cool videos on YouTube.  The first one was about the early years with some 60’s music and some pics of the Beatles performing there:

The second baseball video comes from MLB and it includes mostly 80’s stuff, including the Grateful Dead doing the National Anthem:

The Beatles performed at the Stick in 1966, and as fate would have it, it was the final live event that the Beatles ever performed as a group.  Speaking of fate, the final event for the old park?  Yeah, Paul McCartney in concert in a few weeks from now, 48 years later. 

Traffic sucked, parking was worse, weather was always iffy, seats and aisles and walkways were cramped, prices were outrageous, bathrooms were too small even for guys, and yet we always came to enjoy some damn good football and baseball.  “The Stick” has a date with the wrecking ball, so the physical structure will be gone forever, and while most everybody is celebrating new digs and glad to be gone, the history of the Giants and 49ers in this 54 year old stadium will always live on and NEVER fade away, and that should be celebrated by all NORCAL sports fans – it was a dump, but it was our dump!!!  Farewell Candlestick, and thanks for the great memories.  In honor of the old park, this was what was played after the game and speeches:

How appropriate.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, GABBERS (SORRY MAURY)!!!

Q-o-t-D 7/14/14 Tags: World Cup Soccer

Now that the World Cup is over, have you been swayed?  Will you pay anymore or new attention to Soccer?

 

 

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