Hello folks, and welcome to another Weekly Grumble with IHM. A nice little buffet of things to get to today, spanning all four major leagues here in North America, as well as some college news. So, without any further adieu… let’s get to it.
A lot on the police blotter over the past couple of days, and it’s not just the NFL. That is the norm, usually an arrest or two each week for an NFL player, but this week the NHL, college football, and the NBA decided to get in on that action. Jonas Valanciunas got popped for a DUI, then responded with career night three days later with 26 points, 12 rebounds against the 76ers. Dante Cunningham wanted a piece of that spotlight, too, as he picked up dual arrests; one for felony domestic assault on his girlfriend, and again later in the week for sending her threatening text messages. The NHL threw their name into the hat as well, with Ryan Malone of the Lightning getting popped early this morning for DUI and cocaine possession. MLB is even in on the action with Tigers reliever Evan Reed under suspicion in a sexual assault case.
Dorial Green-Beckham of Missouri, who was once the most highly recruited player of his class but chose Mizzou to stay close to family, was dismissed from the team following yet another arrest for burglary, although ultimately no charges were filed based on the complainant’s “fear of reprisal”. This of course was the last straw after a string of arrests for Beckham over the two years he’s been at Missouri. Being a star player, you have to give Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel some credit for doing the right thing despite the player’s status. He’s also been popped multiple times on possession of marijuana, although he has somehow never been charged in those cases, either. Either way, he looks like a guy that is destined to go the Josh Gordon route to the NFL… but comes with considerably more baggage than Gordon did, and less production for his career. But, at 6-6, 225 and coming off a season in which he scored 12 TDs on 59 catches, someone in the NFL will take a chance on him… hell, there will probably be a LINE of teams waiting to take a chance on him.
It’s not that the NFL has been a bunch of choir boys this week… they have had their share of unwanted headlines as well. There is the whole Colin Kaepernick/Quinton Patton/Ricardo Lockette thing, even though Kaepernick is the only one grabbing headlines there, despite no actual charges being filed. The whole story sounds like a work to me, but I suppose you never know. Plus they do still have the whole Aaron Hernandez thing out there.
Sticking with some NFL headlines for a moment here, how about former Pro Bowler Shawnie Merriman’s new career choice? Seems he’s trading the gridiron for the squared circle after signing with the WWE. One thing is for sure, he’s got the PED use part down pat… just has to work on those matt skills.
HOF linebacker Carl Banks thinks comparisons of Lawrence Taylor and Jadaveon Clowney are “foolish”. I couldn’t agree more… Clowney isn’t a pedophilic piece of shit! Why drag his name down.
Andre Roberts, who signed with the Redskins in hopes of being the #2 receiver there, is apparently frustrated by the teams’ signing of DeSean Jackson, because he is now apparently right back where he was in Arizona. But, much to his chagrin, a better option came along. The question is, is crying to the media really going to help your case? Probably not. Maybe you’ll get lucky and Jackson will break a leg or tear his knee up, and you’ll get your #2 spot back. Keep reaching high.
Roger Staubach has given his ringing endorsement to Johnny Football… saying he’d use the first overall pick on Manziel. Personally, I think the guy has the most upside of any QB in this draft, and if you’re going to take a quarterback anyhow, why not go for the guy with the most promise. I think when all is said and done the guy will go down as a hybrid mix of Brett Favre and Fran Tarkenton. So what do you think Gabbers… are you on mine and Roger Staubach’s side, or are you with Jaws in thinking that Manziel is a bust waiting to happen?
Good news in Major League Baseball as the Reds’ Aroldis Chapman is ready to throw a few bullpen sessions, just shy of a month after being hit by a line drive in the face late in spring training. Glad to hear it, because that was pretty nasty.
Before I call it a day, I’d like to congratulate the Red Wings on their 23rd consecutive playoff appearance, extending their own major professional sport record. It was close this year, with the Wings barely skating into the 8th spot in the East, and it’s unlikely that they’ll get past Boston, who is likely the best team in the league, but 23 years in a row for any team, in any sport is pretty damned impressive. It speaks volumes to both the abilities of Mike Illitch as an owner and Ken Holland as a GM.
That’s all I’ve got this time around ladies and gents. Thanks as always for reading, and for any comments you leave on the way out. Enjoy your first real spring weekend, Gabbers.
Yankees pitcher Micheal Pineda said it was dirt but high definition had a different view. Pine tar has become one of the popular go-to adhesives pitchers use to improve their grip, but it appears for this type of cheating, baseball is willing to look the other way. In this game Thursday night, Red Sox fans were beside themselves with the observation of the pine tar on Pineda's hand, but the players on the Red Sox?...not so much. Big Papi dismissed the "cheating" episode as no big deal and the umpires could not be bothered nor apparently will MLB take any action even in the face of such compelling visual evidence.
Certain forms of cheating have a bit of a romantic place in baseball history...that is non-PED cheating that is. That form of cheating still brings a visceral response from most baseball fans...who is the rightful home run king, Bonds or Aaron? That can set off a lively bar debate, but bring up Gaylord Perry, who is in the Hall of Fame and you might get a whole different debate. Pitches still use a variety of substances from the afore mentioned pine tar to an interesting concoction of Bull Frog sunscreen mixed with rosin...a popular grip enhancement used around the major leagues. Other ball modifications include various methods of scuffing the ball from sandpaper to belt buckles to catchers equipement. The most obvious move today which used to be a clear no-no was putting fingers to the mouth...now a routine move by pitchers. It is interesting to note that the spitball used to be legal. In fact, it was such an advantage, no pitcher of any value took the mound without being able to throw one...this in the the early 1900's. By around 1917, there were too many head injuries from beanings due to the spitter and it was banned. Obviously it did not hold or Gaylord Perry might not have 300 wins...so while no pitcher today that I know of throws the classic spitball, it is clear that the art of pitching still includes a little doctoring of the ball...and isn't that just part of baseball's charm?!
And some other news...
While my friends from Detroit get to celebrate 23 consecutive years in the playoffs including multiple Cup runs, the Capitals modest 7 year run is over coming up just a few points shy of what was needed. There seems to be plenty of blame to go around...Ovechkin's defense or lack thereof, Mike Green's defense or lack thereof, Adam Oates coaching style (the Caps have played about 50 games under Oates where they have scored 2 goals or less...they have won 1 of those games, none in '13-'14...there's a stat for you). For me, I put the blame on the ownership for allowing George McPhee to continue as GM for almost 20 years with no championships and no title appearance since 1997. Ovechkin has not had one playoff run with a true championship goalie or a dominant shut-down defenseman, two key Cup ingredients. It was reported in the news this week that player agents hate McPhee putting the Caps out of the running for premium talent before the bidding even starts. Time for some changes here in DC.
Well, I am going to enjoy some beautiful spring weather, hit some golf balls and then relax and watch Bubba try to grab a second Green Jacket this weekend...hope you have a great weekend too!
Hello Gabbers, I apologize for first hand for this blog, I had been planning to start writing it a little earlier, but just plain old forgot to get it started. Spring has finally arrived in Michigan, and with Spring in Michigan comes the expectation of the Red Wings continuing their streak of playoff appearances. I admit that I thought a month ago this team was dead in the water, but for some reason as the calendar turns from March to April, the Red Wings seem to step up. I am not a fan Sid the Crybaby, and Malkin and the rest of the crybabies known as the Penguins, but it looks like that is who the Wings will be facing in the first round of the playoffs. No matter, cause the kids don't know no better. This total lack of respect or knowledge of others, has probably been the reason the Wings have continued professional sports longest playoff run of 23 consecutive years.
Not many teams or any teams can say that they have been in the playoffs for 23 straight years, I guess this makes up for all the years when I was a teenager of them sucking so badly, and pretty much the laughing stock of the NHL. I thought the Wings needed an infusion of youth after they lost to the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals, and maybe the likes of Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Jurco, Tomas Tatar, Luke Glendenning and Riley Sheahan was exactly what the Wings needed. All the above were members of the Calder Cup Champion Grand Rapid Griffins, and are probably at least a year ahead of schedule. Sure they make mistakes that cost the team goals, but for the most part they are more sound defensively than some of the veterans. This kind of reminds me of the influx of youth that occurred in the late 80's, early 90's, when a young Lidstrom came to Detroit, and we all know that he will be in Toronto next to Stevie Y when his time to be inducted comes. Mr. I. is a pretty smart businessman, and this infusion of youth is part of the plan, spend money on the Tigers, while building a contender who will compete on a regular basis for the Stanley Cup by the time the new arena is built. So far the plan seems to be working, now we will wait and see.....
Since I work in the grocery business, I have the pleasure of seeing a magazine devoted to Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. Today while out running my errands, I heard that Joan Jett was inducting Nirvana into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I was never personally into Grunge, but I loved listening to Nirvana.
Noah and Taylor are wrapping up their Spring Break, and last week I went to Noah's P/T conference which like always turned out as I expected. The kid's pretty damn smart, not much to work with or on with him for the rest of the year, he is ready for the 3rd grade. Taylor is my underachiever to an extent, she could do much better if she applied herself, but I am waiting for her ever so patiently to realize her full potential.
Not to stir the pot with the Red Sox nation, but does anyone really care that you are in New York facing the Yankees. I hope you whip them good, but last check the Yank's were winning 3-0.
NASCAR is heading to Darlington, miss Q in our fantasy leagues she is damn knowledgeable on the Sport.
Another year of the Pistons underachieving and getting a decent coach fired once again. Some day they will fill the Palace again, but not until they become consistent.
What the hell is going on in MLB this year? So many pitchers having Tommy John, this is not a good trend, maybe teams should consider studying why this is happening, and just maybe they will figure out how to prevent it. There has to be a pitch that is tearing the UCL, Medlin, Beachy, Moore, Griffin, and the list goes on and on.
B.O.B. what's up with "The Freak," Goldschmidt owns him.......
Well that's all I got, have a great week and thanks for stopping by...
Another week gone bye and it started off with a bang as the UConn Huskies won both the men’s and women’s NCAA (or NAACP if you saw the Fox News faux pas) Division One Basketball Championship. Baseball is back and the season is rolling along inspiring excitement (Milwaukee) or panic (Boston...yes, after an early season three game sweep by Milwaukee there was panic on the airwaves...yeesh!).
The NBA season is closing out and likely another Miami Heat romp through the playoffs is nigh. Meanwhile, the NHL is closing out the year and teams are locking down spots in the playoff picture. With the NHL regular season ending it kicks off the best playoffs in any sports: the NHL Playoffs. No team is safe. Seven game series that go back and forth. Upsets every year. Incredible intensity night after night. It is just fantastic.
The big news in the NFL is once again superstars running afoul of the law in that CBA-negotiated time that keeps players away from their teams. First, let me say that the NFL is a full-time job. This is not 1950 with professional sports players working a regular job in the off-season and then using training camp to get back into shape. Players work-out all off-season long: coaches are at the facility researching, prepping, planning and preparing. Let the off-season camps run all spring and summer long. The more the players are under team control the less bull**** off-season trouble goes on.
This week had San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick looking at his first off-field black eye as news broke about his being investigated by police for an alleged sexual assault. Of course, with many journalists needing to “break stories” TMZ--who broke the news--may have taken out of context in the report. At this time there is the potential of a crime having been committed with Kaepernick a possible--but not charged or arrested--suspect.
This “suspicious incident” included 49ers and Seahawks wide receivers Quinton Patton and Ricardo Lockette as well. Personally, I hope the players did not do anything wrong as I am tired of “sports stars behaving badly” stories. I think the 49ers/Seahawks Kaepernick/Russell Wilson rivalry is the best in the NFL and could be for at least another 5 or more seasons if there are no idiotic episodes to derail it.
Speaking of San Francisco, reports are that the 49ers are desperate enough to call former San Francisco, Washington Redskin, New England Patriot, St. Louis Ram, Denver Bronco, and Chicago Bear wide receiver Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd had probably the least productive 900 yard receiving season in NFL history in 2012 for New England and was out of the league last year when the wide receiver needy Patriots let him walk. The fact that he burned bridges badly in so many cities is a huge flashing neon sign to stay away.
The 49ers have tons of draft picks (just like they did last year) and are in position to draft a wide receiver early and trade for a veteran to shore up their biggest weakness on offense. A player that would fit in San Francisco is Buffalo’s Stevie Johnson. He is talented and obviously sick of all the losing up North. The Bills have invested heavily in the draft at wide receiver and could move the mercurial Johnson for more draft picks.
The Bills are in the news again as with the passing of owner Ralph Wilson last week comes news that his will is stipulating that his surviving family sell the team. This immediately sets off theories of who will buy and where the team will play. There are already reports of rocker Jon Bon Jovi being the face of a group willing to buy the Bills and move them to Toronto. Expect whispers of moving the team to Los Angeles with the lack of a long-term stadium deal.
New England Patriots had some fun this week with new Buffalo Bills linebacker Brandon Spikes. Spikes left New England in a huff after being dumped into injured reserve during the playoffs for being late to practice in a snowstorm. Spikes is a great run-stuffing middle linebacker--a two-down backer in today’s NFL.
He went on a Twitter madcap adventure talking about beating New England twice and then sparring with trolls, umm, I mean...fans. He started unfollowing and blocking Patriots fans from his Twitter...pretty funny stuff. Then, his worst tweet followed, which was “Four years a slave” referring to being paid millions of dollars in New England. What an idiot. Enjoy the snow and the 6-10 seasons, Brandon.
The Cleveland Browns--with gallons and gallons of salary cap space--did not franchise their talented center Alex Mack allowed an opponent to sign him to an offer sheet that if the Browns did not match would cost them nothing but money. The Jacksonville Jaguars--another team with scads and scads of cap space--wisely put in an offer to Mack which is reported to be for five years and $42 million.
The Browns are idiots not to match it and keep him.
The Browns had an offensive line that was 40% fantastic and 60% crap last year: Mack accounted for 20% of the fantastic. The Browns front office--whoever the hell is running it this week--would be idiotic to let him go and further weaken an Achilles heel last year. For Jacksonville, it would be a coup to add Mack to former Broncos guard Zane Beadles on the interior offensive line. To lose Mack and young Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward in the same off-season is a kick to the groin of Cleveland supporters.
The Baseball season is a week and a half old and lots has happened since the first pitch. I watched opening day ceremonies at Fenway and like everything Red Sox it was over the top. Families of the Marathon Bombing Victims brought the rings out to the owners. When each guy receiving his ring they all had the same reaction they looked down at it like a Little Leaguer and his first trophy. It was very cool. I got choked up when Firefighters from Engine 33 and Ladder 15 came in and shook hands with the Sox two firefighters from the BFD were killed fighting a fire. I teared up when Lt Walsh's (one of the fallen fire fighters) wife and kids were at the end of the line and each Red Sox hugged her and made a huge deal out of the little one she was carrying.
The Red Sox are 4 and 5 to start the season, getting swept by the Brewers at the 2014 Fenway Debut. Why are they opening at home against a National League Team?
There were double wins at UConn has the Huskies beat Kentucky and the Lady Huskies beat Notre Dame. I think people were surprised to see UConn win, especially John Caliperi. He and his Wildcats had there chances but couldn’t take advantage.
The Masters won’t have Tiger this year. I bet you haven’t heard about that every waking moment over the last couple of weeks. The Masters is the best human drama in sports especially if it’s tight on Sunday. It’s not so much the golf but more the pressure on each guy to make each shot. The excitement is different than a team sport it’s more psychological sometimes than pure school and a major always seems to capture it more than any other sport. It’s human drama at it’s best.
Hey they almost found the airplane maybe but it’s in a whole lot of water.Just can’t believe they haven’t found that yet. There is something wrong here and we may never find the answer it’s a shame. For all those families,they have been given a bunch of bull shit so far.
Teams are Jockeying for position
The Boston Bruins and the St Louis Blues are battling for the Presidents Cup for the best record in the league and how ice throughout the playoffs.. both teams have three games left the Bruins have a 114 pts and the Blues have 111. Both teams have played some exceptional hockey this year but I’m a Black and Gold guy instead of the Blue Gold.
LIL Warriors Report
Yes after getting their butts kicked last month in tournament the boys got hot in their last few games. They won their first round playoff game as the 4th seed in their conference..
They had to play two games on Saturday to win the Conference. They played at 8am while their soon to be opponents played at 8:20 am on the other rink at the same facility.The winners would return for the conference championship at 1pm.
The boys came out smoking in the morning game winning 5-2. Nick the goalie was awesome and the netminder's best friend the goal post helped out big time.
The game was at 1, traffic on I 93 North was awful getting back to the rink as a work crew filled potholes on the Interstate. Players came in one by one even coach Glen got stuck in traffic. The boys went down 1-0 in the first period. They tied it early in the second then went down 2-1 going into the third. They scored quick. And with 4:48 left Lil Craig scored the game winner. Gloves, sticks helmets every where. The Boys got trophies and hats saying Valley League Champs.
The Playoff format changed this year with an extra game on Sunday for the League Championship for that Division. They played Woburn who gave them trouble all year . They lost twice to them, beat them once and tied them. The boys took the early lead and held on; they were up 2-0 then Woburn scored making it 2-1, then the boys were up 3-1 and held on for a 4-2 win and the big piece of Hardware their version of the Cup.
Lil Lanz almost had the first goal, he couldn’t get a rebound home and the goalie made a stick save while on the Ice.
Special Thanks go out to the Coaches Glenn, Dennis, and Dave who made it fun for the kids all year and three of the nicest guys you ever want to meet.
The parents who we bonded with giving up every weekend and many weeknights since September. we became a group that truly enjoyed each others company.
Finally Thanks to the 12 boys and 1 girl. who spent countless hours on the ice through practices, skill session and many playing for two teams. There hard work and dedication.paid off
Parents and coaches explained to them that Championships are rare in ones sporting life so enjoy it. They have been the talk of the town at soccer, Lax, and baseball. The kids are enjoying the crap out of it.
Lil Lanz skating hard up the Boards
Team watching opponents getting runner up trophy
Team getting the Trophy
Typical Hockey Champ Photo Lil lanz doing his Hulk Hogan in Back
LIL Lanz in Locker Room with trophy, He had already took his shoulder and elbow pads off