I heard there was some soccer talk going on...Apparently there was a big game between the U.S. Men's team and Mexico in California on Saturday...Now there were a few things that happened that surprised people...The U.S. had a 2-0 lead...SURPRISE! The U.S. lost that lead...NOT A SURPRISE! The U.S. lost 4-2...NOT A SURPRISE!
But the one that has many people surprised has to do with the attendance...Of the more than 93,000 people who paid to see this game, 80,000 were there to support the Mexican team...Me: NOT SURPRISED! It was at the Rose Bowl...There's a big Mexican/Hispanic population in California...People in the U.S. don't care that damn much about soccer...There should be nothing shocking about this...How often do Americans show up in big numbers for Soccer...Especially when there is a perfectly good Saturday to be had...Why blow it on soccer!?!
Then I heard some one say the Women's World Cup is starting...Why do they keep trying to push soccer...Knock it off, we don't care! Unless all the chicks looked like Rosie up above there...But they don't, so knock it off!
In some Hockey news, The Philadelphia Flyers decided to finally spend money on a high-priced goalie...But to do so they had to move a couple of key players, shipping Mike Richards to LA, for young "talent"...So of that talent overrated...Win for LA...
Then they traded Jeff Carter to Columbus for Jakub Voracek and a couple draft picks...I didn't mind the draft picks because this year's draft was filled with high-end talent...Voracek is talented and was starting to click with Rick Nash...But Carter finally gives Nash a quality Center to play with...So maybe will call this one even...
Then the Draft happened, and the trading got Wild...Starting with the Minnesota Wild trading Defensman Brent Burns to San Jose for Devon Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle, and the 28 overall pick...
The Chicago Blackhawks who have been battling Cap trouble since winning the Stanley Cup last year, traded overpriced D-man, Brian Campbell for player(s) to be named...And traded Troy Brouwer to the Capitals for their first round pick...
Now that everyone is asleep, let's get to the good stuff...
Friday my Mom took the Little Beeze to get his hair cut...He wanted a Mohawk that would look like a shark fin, but the Mrs. said no...He got it cut nice, and they gave him some goop so he could spike up the middle for a fin when he wanted to...
So Saturday morning he was trying to goop up his hair, and it wasn't working well for him...So he got pissed, got his scissors from his pencil pouch, and started chopping...Then he showed my wife...He was afraid he was going to be in trouble with me, but all I could do was laugh at his crooked, jacked-up hair...
Sunday I took him to get it fixed...He wanted to go totally bald, but I knew the Mrs. wouldn't like that, so we left a bit of hair on his head...What do you think?
Sunday I took my new favorite picture of Molly, while feeding her dinner...
Molls is a big Music fan, like all of us in this house...When she's up late I test different stuff out on her...She's becoming a fan of Coltrane, Portishead, Paul Westerberg, and Billy the Kid...So this week we'll end with Billy's latest video...
Paradoxes. At Bowman Gray Raceway in Winston-Salem is one of the racing's most storied facilities. Located about an hour or so from Raleigh-Durham NC, this facility used to be the football field for Wake Forest University. The football team moved out to a bigger facility but the racing went on. The goal posts and yard lines have long been gone but the facility is beautiful.
The facility is very clean, lots of parking and plenty of bathrooms, especially for us girls. There are plenty of young people who come to the track and the number of females is quite high. These factors assure the track's success well into the future. You make racing comfortable and people will come. You have a lot of young people, then you have your future generation of loyal fans,
What's more many Sprint Cup Drivers have raced there, including Richard Petty and the Allisons. But modified racing is what people come to see now and even Richie Evans won there and not just once, They are a home to the Whelen Modified Tour.
The track is short and flat and the retaining walls have been battered repeatedly, due to the type of racing that happens there. With such a narrow track, it gets quite chippy out there on the track. The track was even featured on a cable series, chronicling their weekly program and what the drivers did in preparation for each week.
Bowman Gray is well known as a hard racing track and a lot of that is due to the tight track confines but at the end of the second Modified Feature was an ontrack altercation between Miller in the 69 and Bown in the 59. I didn't see what precipitated the event but assume it was just a racing thing. Miller got behind Bown and was pushing him and the cars had to be separated near the pit gate entrance. I believe Miller placed 3rd or 4th in both features. Miller is a veteran driver and has won probably over 50 features if not more. In spite of that extra-curricular activity the crowd was quite well-behaved.
The track is touted as somewhat volatile with regards to the fans and drivers but I think that is a lot of hype, I believe the track maintains order pretty well and it is a must-see track on the basis of fan-friendly accommodations. If you ever get the chance, please go. You will like it.
Okay, maybe not...But between that title and the picture, I'm sure I caught your attention...And yes, God is the feature topic of this post...If you read my last POST, you know I get salty when God and Politics and matters of the State get mixed together...Well that's not the only time it gets under my skin...
My 12 years of Catholic schooling taught me many things...Including that God or a Higher Power does not picks sides in sporting events...I have attended mass at The Basilica at Notre Dame, and gone to the Grotto countless times, and not only did I not pray for a victory, I'm pretty sure if I did, it wouldn't have mattered...It's not God's fault the Irish couldn't stop NAVY's option attack...
We often hear athletes thank God after a big victory...How they couldn't have done it without him...Hell I saw that JET dude from the Mavericks do it...(Yeah I don't really follow basketball)...And then LeBron James tweeted how God wasn't ready for him to win a championship yet...Ummm guys, I highly doubt that the Almighty was really focused on your Basketball game!
The NBA Draft was Thursday night...The NHL Draft started Friday night...There have been guys drafted in both, who got in front of a mic and thanked, "The Lord Jesus Christ." He didn't get you drafted! You coaches over the years...Your parents...The quality competition you faced...Hard work and determination....These things got you drafted...
We've seen entertainers thank God when they win awards...Really? God enjoyed your movie so much more, that he snapped his fingers and said, 'YOU WIN!' Grow up people!
I'm not hating on people for being religious...I'm not shitting on them for having a strong commitment to their Faith...Whatever gets you through your days...If it helps you sleep at night, great...But I think there needs to be a bit of common sense involved...The idea of God, or an all-powerful being, that is in charge of this crazy world, is big...That's serious shit...And to think this higher power really gives a shit about who wins and loses the "Super Bowl" just seems silly to me...
I mean isn't he busy right now, with the drought, the wild-fires, the flooding, raining out Tee-Ball games...Japan being radioactive from 3 meltdowns, and still having small quakes...Alaska has had Quakes all week...Wars around the world...Genocide in Africa...Seems like there are some things ahead of who wins and loses on the big guy's to-do list...
Oh, and by the way Kurt Warner and LeBron James...All that bad stuff I mentioned...You know, the wars, genocide, floods, earthquakes, droughts, blah, blah, blah, all that...Now is God causing that? Or is he suppose to fix that stuff...Just wondering!
Sorry if I got too heavy...Here's where I boosted the title from...
“Dreams are the answers to questions that we haven't yet figured out how to ask.” - Fox Mulder
Ok, I'll admit, that all the lessons I learned in life, I picked up from watching the X-Files during the 1990's. And as Fox Mulder would also say, "we are not alone."
Take for instance the plethora of players in Major League Baseball who are finally getting to realize their dream of being a part of and contributing to a team on baseball's biggest stage. After years of starts and stops, position changes, and bus jumping, these guys are getting their shining moment and taking full advantage of it.
Players like Ryan Vogelsong understand that struggle. Vogelsong was a 5th round draft pick of the San Francisco Giants in 1998 and got his first taste of the Major Leagues in relatively quick order, pitching in 6 games in 2000 during his initial cup of coffee. The next season, he would be granted a bigger audition but struggled to impress and was shipped to Pittsburgh as part of the Jason Schmidt trade. He did receive his first two starts for Pittsburgh in 2001, but only lasted a total of 6 innings in those appearances. He would require Tommy John surgery later that season and missed the entire 2002 season. Three more seasons in Pittsburgh would be spent ineffectively starting and only achieving middling results as a reliever before he was granted free agency. Vogelsong would spend the 2007-2009 seasons pitching in Japan. He would return to the states in 2010, signing with both Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Angels at different points of the season, but would never make it out of the minors with either team.
A lot of players give up on their dream at this stage, realizing that they've achieved what they could with the talent they have. Some go on to coach, while others fall back into other careers along the lines of their educations.
Vogelsong, however, decided to give it one last shot.
Signed in January by the team that drafted him, the Giants thought they saw enough of him that he would be able to contribute if an injury arose. That situation came about when Barry Zito went down to injury and he threw his first two games in mop-up duty pitching 4.2 scoreless innings in those first two appearances. Vogelsong would get his first start on on April 28th and promptly struck out 8 against Pittsburgh on the way to the win. Since that time, he has managed to go 5-1 with a 1.86 ERA and 57 strikeouts across 72 innings pitched.
Needless to say, the Giants and Vogelsong have finally realized his dream and watched him grow into what may be the most uncharacteristic All-star in just a few weeks time. By persevering through the struggles, Vogelsong has carved his place in the game and with the fans. He has molded himself into one of the most sought-after pitchers approaching the deadline and will likely have pitched himself into a multi-year contract and rotation next season.
Not to bad for a guy that finally made his mark at the age of 33.
- Vogelsong isn't the only player finally getting his chance. The New York Yankees have utilized career minor-leaguer and former outfielder Brian Gordon as a starting pitcher over the last two weeks. Gordon was a player that bounced around five different organizations and changed positions to make the big time. He had a great spring in the Phillies system, but they had nowhere to use him, so when the Yankees need arose, they came calling. He's likely done by the time Phil Hughes returns, but it was likely worth the ride as well.
- The Phillies are finally getting their monies worth with Cliff Lee. After rough first two months out of the gate, Lee has given up just 1 earned run over 33 innings pitched during the month of June, including back-to-back shut-outs versus the Marlins and the Cardinals.
- Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman abruptly quit over a contract dispute on Thursday. Riggleman apparently refused to get on the team bus unless his contract extension was picked up and GM Mike Rizzo wasn't ready to do that. Adding to the oddity of the situation, the Nationals have won 9 of 10, and are 15-6 for the month of June, which is likely their strongest run in the history of organization.
Venus Williams, Two MLB teams do a good deed, is Bud Selig stupid. All this, and more, inside this edition of Rants and Raves.
The first rave is for the Texas Ranger’s selecting Georgia outfielder Johnathan Taylor with their 33rd pick in MLB 2011 draft. The problem is Taylor is partially paralyzed after an on-field collision with Zach Cone while playing with the Bulldogs three months ago. The Rangers also select Cone with the 37th pick. Taylor said "Right now my goal is to get better during the rehab and focus on trying to get my legs back under me again and start walking and running and get back on that field again, like I always wanted." Johnathan was paralyzed from the chest down after he broke his neck in a collision with Cone. Zach was knocked unconscious but he did make the catch before colliding with Taylor in a game against Florida State. Cone was playing left and Taylor center. An ambulance drove onto the field to take Taylor to the hospital, while Cone managed to walk off the field. Johnathan Taylor is undergoing outpatient treatment at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.
Rangers senior director of player personnel A.J. Preller said the team has made a donation to the fund established for Taylor's rehabilitation.
In another gesture, the Houston Astros selected Buddy Lamothe in the 40th round. Buddy was paralyzed in an rafting/water incident last month. He severely injured his spine when he dove in the water to retrieve his sunglasses. Lamothe was a relief pitcher for San Jacinto Junior College. He had pitched 21 innings, striking out 27 with a 0.86 era.
Buddy has been guaranteed a job with the Astro’s even if he never pitches again.
Well Bud Selig can sure mess up a wet dream. Just when it looked like the McCourts were settling their divorce, Bud throws a wrench into it by vetoing the Dodgers new television deal which was reported to be worth $3 billion dollars. Frank McCourt was to receive $385 million upfront. This money was the backbone of the financial well-being of the Los Angeles Dodgers, as well as part of the divorce settlement between Jamie and Frank McCourt. Bud Selig stated, "This decision was reached after a full and careful consideration of the terms of the proposed transaction and the club's current circumstances. It is my conclusion that this proposed transaction with FOX would not be in the best interests of the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise, the game of Baseball and the millions of loyal fans of this historic club."
Terms of the settlement spelled out how the $385 million from Fox would be spent. Each party would receive $5 million for lawyers' fees. Each party would receive $5 million to use as they see fit. Approximately $235 million would be used for the Dodgers (including repayment to Frank McCourt money that was advanced to the team in 2011 but not exceeding $23.5 million). Another $80 million would be used to pay off indebtedness. And the remaining $50 million would be put in an account subject to the court's orders.
Frank McCourt had said all other issues in the divorce were settled, and a hearing set for last Wednesday where Jamie McCourt was expected to ask Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon to order the sale of the team was canceled.
The former couple's lavish lifestyle was exposed in court documents, where it was revealed that they took out more than $100 million in loans from Dodgers-related businesses. Their spending habits were likened to using the money from the team as though it were their personal ATM or credit card.