Tribute to Dick Williams
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB

I guess when you first start watching baseball you fall in love with that first team and the guys on the that team. For me it was the 1967 Boston Red Sox and The St. Louis Cardinals. I remember watching my first World Series at my Uncle’s house he had a colored TV. I remember how impressed I was with Bob Gibson, the way he would come off the mound. (My favorite player of all-time). But this isn’t about the Cardinals. It is about the Red Sox  whoI  have had a lifelong love affair with. Sure there has been plenty of times that have been ready to jump ship but I have always came back for more.

That first Red Sox team Yaz, Tony C, Rico, Mike Andrews, Reggie Smith, The Boomer, Joe Foy, Russ Gibson and Nixon , Lonborg, Lee Stange to name a few. They were lead by the fiery Dick Williams. Williams played for the Red Sox and only lasted 3 years as manager. But those 3 years were a catalyst of 21 years as a big league manager old school. But he was right at home with Sparky Anderson, Billy Martin, Earl Weaver, and Whitey Herzog to name a few, even old Casey Stengel was around.

Williams was my guy and followed him and his career success in Oakland, in the early 70’s and not so success full in California in the mid 70’s. Many years North of the border in Montreal with some decent teams. San Diego and than Seattle to close out a career.

Williams was old school and hardcore things were done his way or the highway. In todays game you won’t find a guy like Williams maybe Ozzie Guillen comes close.

Williams was a product of the day and baseball managers were hardcore to the max almost like today’s NFL coaches. There was no room for nonsense it was always about the game and getting the most out of players. No sensitivity if you messed up you would fine yourself in the dog house.

It was a sad day in baseball yesterday, Dick Williams died at age 82 Yesterday of a Brain Aneurysm.

Here is Dick Williams stats from Baseball Reference.com


Five Minute Frags - Leave My All-Star Game Alone
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB All-Star Game Derek Jeter Joe Mauer Paul Konerko

Every year, fans pour out of the woodwork to complain about the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. They whine and moan about the set-up, the way the teams are selected, and ultimately how it is played. They rant and rave about what they would change, what needs fixing, and what really doesn’t work.


For once, I’m siding with Bud! Just leave the game alone.


Alright, I’ll give way to the fact that the fan voting simply doesn’t work. They open it up way to early in the season, essentially commanding that fans vote for their favorite players rather than waiting for a valid base to be set and awarding the deserving players. But all and all, that has nothing to do with the game itself, just those who make up the rosters.


The game itself is still the best All-Star game of the four major sports. The Pro Bowl usually breaks down to rosters of second-rate stars as the top tier guys would rather take the time off and nurse injuries. The NBA game dissolves into a run and gun showcase for everything that is wrong with the league itself, a game completely devoid of fundamentals. The NHL All-Star game is the only one remotely close to their MLB equivalent.


The MLB All-Star Game is pure fun, showcasing the top talent of the game and still offering a competition worth watching. Who can forget the memories of Pete Rose running over Ray Fosse in 1970, Ted Williams hitting the walk-off home run to cap the 1941 game, Bo Jackson and Wade Boggs going back-to-back to open up the scoring in the 1989 game, or even Cal Ripken winning the MVP in his final All-Star game in 2001?



And yes, I’ll even stoke a few fires and say that I don’t hate the “This One Counts” rule. Take away the exhibition mentality of the game and make them play it like it matters in the end. No more guys running through the motions knowing they are coming out after two innings of work. Putting something like home field advantage in the World Series on the line gives these guys incentive to play the game like they would during a stretch run. The difference between having or not having a DH in the game is enough to swing the World Series and as such, should be enough to stoke the fires of competition, which makes the game more engaging for the fans as well.


In the end, that’s the true goal of the game, to engage the fans, and the MLB game does it more than any other. Why would we want to change that?


Other Fragments:


  • The Red Sox are starting to look like the walking wounded, with 3/5 of the opening day rotation on the disabled list. For a team with World Series aspirations, losing their ace (Lester) and their number 3 starter (Buchholz) for an extended period of time could be devastating.


  • Baseball fans, not just Yankee fans, need to really appreciate Derek Jeter’s march to 3000 hits. Consider for just a moment that no other Yankee in history had 3000 hits in a Yankee uniform. Then go through the list of great players that have worn the pinstripes and really breathe it in.


  • The Minnesota Twins are making the right move in transitioning Joe Mauer to first base. Repeated injuries have sapped his leg strength and his ability to be an elite catcher, but his bat is too much to keep out of the line-up. This will also allow them to move Justin Morneau to DH next season and save the money by not resigning Jason Kubel.


  • Michael Young is having a good season in Texas, despite all of the jostling between Young and the team during the off-season. Still, his selection as an All-Star reserve over Paul Konerko, who had to get in via the Final Vote, was purely a coach’s pick. Konerko is again quietly having a monster campaign, hitting .319 with 22 home runs and 64 RBI on a disappointing White Sox team. He deserved better than to be known as the last guy picked.
Rants and Raves
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Los Angeles Dodgers Charlie Sheen Hot Dogs Pittsburgh Pirates Michael Vick


Sue the Judicial System, Dodgers broke, Sheen on Roids. This and more in this weeks edition of Rants and Raves. 


I hope you all had a wonderful and safe 4th of July. I spent over $100 on fireworks. My granddaughter was very happy.


If am Michael Vick and Plaxico Burress I’m thinking about take the Legal System to court. Your telling me its okay to kill a 2 year old and get away with it, but if I accidently shoot myself or are cruel and violent to my dogs I get to years in prison. Some things not right!!!


Do you think MLB Commissioner, Bud Selig, should have denied the Dodgers from their deal with Fox Sports. The TV contract, according to the Dodgers, was in excess of $3 billion dollars for a 17-year deal. MLB say that it was for $1.7 billion dollars for the duration of the contract. The reason the deal was killed by Selig, not all the money would be going to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The McCourts would receive approximately $175 million.


Is this taking your work to heart?? Charlie Sheen admitting to steroid use for 6-8 weeks while filming “Major League.” Remember Sheen played pitcher Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn in the 1989 movie. Charlie says it was the only time he took steroids and they made him a bit more irritable than normal.


I lived in New York City, Brooklyn to be exact, for 21 years and I never went to Nathans for the Fourth of July Hot Dog eating contest. Now I have been to that Nathan’s many a time, and they have outstanding food. I don’t know if the still have it, but when I was growing up they had a lo-main in a egg noodle shell that is out of this world. Oh, and their Hot Dogs aren’t bad either. I have been to plenty of Nathan stores outside New York, and their hot dogs can’t compare to the one at Coney Island. I think it’s the water.


Can someone tell the Pittsburgh Pirates that it is after July 4th. They shouldn’t have a record above .500. Actually, I am happy for them. It is good one a different team can have a break-out year. Next year it is Kansas City Royals turn.


I still can’t use to NASCAR drivers pushing each other around the track. But, what makes it even stranger is that the person pushing you can be the enemy. What is wrong with that??


Have a safe week

Deep Thoughts
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB Reynolds and Byrnes; Galveston shark


Well, the 4th of July has come and gone and it is time again for a few deep thoughts. Each year, my family gets together this time of year. As our kids have grown older, our group grows a bit smaller, but it is still fun to catch up with my brother and sister. This year, we decided to meet in Galveston.



In my youth, I would have loved the energy of Galveston. Now, I enjoy the beach and fishing, but not the crowds. Since Galveston is less than an hour east of Houston, you can imagine how crowded the island was for a holiday weekend. In spite of the people, we managed to find a nice stretch of beach to visit. I have never encountered water as warm as the July Galveston surf. After a day at the beach, we found a very nice comfortable restaurant to munch a pile of shrimp.



If you are looking for a casual place to eat seafood, I recommend Shrimp and Stuff...


If you have read my blogs, you know how much I love to fish. We went out on a half day charter fishing trip. We had a great time on the water, but the fishing was not great. It felt like I was fishing out of a bus window. The entire boat was full, so there was not much room to move around. I loved being on the water at daybreak, but would have preferred a chance to fish with a smaller group.  Here is our boat:




After a less than successful morning of fishing, we decided to visit the Galveston pier for fishing under the stars. My brother, son and I had a great time. We caught many small fish, but we picked the right night to visit the pier as there was a much larger fish caught...



 I found the video...it is not the greatest...






This is a 71/2 foot bull shark that was caught on the end of the pier. If you have never witnessed a fish like this being caught...it was quite an event! My son took this picture and was quite impressed with the effort required to bring the shark to the bank. The pier was about 20 feet above the water, so getting the rope around the sharks neck was no small feat. I am not sure what you do with a shark like this, but the guy had to get in the water to get him up on the bank. I was glad that I was able to watch from the pier...




I have seen many fireworks displays, but I have to say that the firework show that Galveston put on last night was really special. To watch the show over the water was a great way to end our reunion.






Although I missed out on sports for several days, I did catch this bit of news before I left town. The Amarillo Sox recently debuted their new mascot. I don't think that result was exactly what the team was looking for. I guess you would call this mascot, Woody? Here is the word from the team:

"It was not the way I wanted it," [team GM Mark] Lee said. "I'm very disappointed in the lady who did it, and I've told her so. She is going to fix it to the changes we want. I want to say on the record, if we offended anybody, I apologize." 

I understand miscommunication, but how could they be this far off? Also, why would you let this mascot out of the door? Did the GM not check out the mascot when it came in?





While talking silly baseball, I cannot overlook the recent home run at LeLacheur Park  in Boston. I guess the Spinners are a minor league team in the Boston area? Here is a video of the human HR that was shot by a fan's IPhone...









I am beat from driving back. I think I will leave the rest for next time...perhaps we will have some good news on the NFL negotiations by then...


I was so tired last night that I forgot to add a hilarious bit from the MLB channel. You probably have seen the video of Eric Byrnes blasting Harold Reynolds off a chair. Last week, there was a foul ball down the left field line that Koyie Hill (catcher for the Cubs) simply did not move off his chair. Byrnes said if he was the left fielder that he would have run over Hill and demonstrated on Reynolds. Here is the clip:



After being totally demolished, Harold decided he wanted to exact some revenge. Here is Harold nailing Byrnes.



I love the MLB channel, it is great stuff...






Here is a bit of Jack Handey to ponder:


If you go through a lot of hammers each month, I don't think it necessarily means you're a hard worker. It may just mean that you have a lot to learn about proper hammer maintenance. 

Sometimes I think the world has gone completely mad. And then I think, 'Aw, who cares?' And then I think, 'Hey, what's for supper?



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

Tuesday's Tantrums - 7/5/11
Category: FEATURED


Welcome to the Gab, where we all celebrate and enjoy Cervezas and Nachos, especially during the warmth of July and we certainly don’t allow two sports lockouts to hold us back!

I hope everybody enjoyed celebrating the 4th of July weekend and was able to enjoy what they could.  So time marches on and now we’ve officially made it to the graveyard of sports - July.  Baseball is going on but is there much else on the docket?  Well maybe if you like NASCAR, the Tour de France, the British Open, High School football camps, and a certain celebrity golf tournament up at Lake Tahoe.

First off, I want to wish the relaunch of the new The Sports Blog Network and Pablo de Tejas well.  I'm sure the new kids on the block will do just fine.

On to the tantrums…

Rant of the Week.  I love the Nathan's hot dog eating contest, but these morons trying to sell competitive eating as a sport?  Give me a break!  Yeah they can make a couple of bucks dressing like idiots, wearing fake wrestling belts, and gording themselves, but don't try to sell me that these guys are athletes.  Its a sideshow, nothing more.

MLB.   Mad props to the Disabled Veteran who caught that foul ball at Yankee Stadium the other night.

Hey Cleveland, Justin Masterson has a 2.78 ERA and he’s only 6-6?  WTF?

Worst possible timing for Jose Reyes to have hamstring tightness.  I guess now his “Escape from New York” will have to wait.  Dammit, the Giants could have used him.

Can somebody please explain to me how Andrew McCutcheon doesn't get into the All-Star game?

The umps can’t count to four, so Cameron Maybin gets the three ball walk, and ultimately comes around to score in a 1-0 win for San Diego over Seattle, AT SEATTLE?  The scoreboard guy in Seattle should be immediately fired.

Canadian Football League – Week 1.  Got to catch some of the Canada Day festivities in Frenchie-ville (err, Montreal).  BC gave ‘em more of a game than I imagined.  But the big surprise was Toronto beating Calgary in Calgary.  It wasn’t just the fact of Toronto winning, but it’s how they won – most of their big plays were running the ball.

Music.  We spent a little time talking about Sax players and all that.  What about combining Chicago with Earth, Wind, and Fire and letting their horn section go at it? 

Yo Bruce Springsteen, this is what REAL music is rather than that bullshit screaming you do.  You (and your political rants) suck and you’re an embarrassment to New Jersey, the home of Frank Sinatra!  In fact, I’d go so far to say that when it comes to embarrassing your state, you aren’t too far away from those Jersey Shore pukes. 

Golf.  Man, the stuffed shirt crowd ain’t gonna like this.  Robert Garrigus, who had a helluva run in the final round of the U. S. Open admitted to “partaking of the herbage” in the middle of rounds of golf in one of the lesser golf tours back in the day.

Speaking of Carl Spackler, where the hell has he been lately Jeff?

NFL .  Alrighty boys, we’ve made it to July and you got your weekend of rest, let’s get this lockout stuff fixed right now!  We need something to talk about.  Need I rant more?  I wanna join IHM and Stormin' Norman on the Lions bandwagon, and I want to bash Jeff's Cow-sissies.  Let's get this done so we here at The Gab can talk about free agents making teams better and we can start talking Football on the field...

Had the opportunity to watch Herm Edwards speak at the rookie symposium.  He may not have had the results on the field, but it’s perfectly obvious to me that he’s a coach who gets it and cares about the players.  Maybe he should be the guy representing the players.

Wrestling.  TNA is pitching the fact that "wrestling matters", and what's their lead - Hogan and Sting?  One a 58 year old who medically can’t wrestle, and the other a 52 year old born-again christian who won’t go past a certain line when it comes to storyline.  Crazy Sting is not very creative or funny.  As for the WWE, Randy Orton telling a radio station that Kelly Kelly was doing the horizontal mamba with many of the WWE talent is kinda jacked up.  Hey Randy, so what if she was doing the nasty, who are you to criticize?  Didn’t you get into trouble a while back for jerking with the divas?  Grow up dude – you know if she threw it in your face that you’d be down like four flat tires!!! 

NBA.   You notice how the media is lining up on the lockout?  The ones from Miami and LA are saying how the “competitive balance” will never help the league.

If I'm David Stern, I call the media and players bluff.  I'd immediately contract to 20 teams by folding the franchises in Toronto, Indiana, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando, Memphis, New Orleans, Minnesota, and Sacramento right off the top.  Why?  The players don't want to play there, the media can't be bothered with these markets, Buss and the deep pocket owners want nothing to do with them, the puppet Stern only wants the Boston and LAs in the finals. 

At the same time, put New Jersey, Miami, Oklahoma City, Utah, and San Antonio on notice that they will be reviewed every "X" amount of years to ensure there are no business related issues.

You do a contraction draft and make the remaining 20 teams stronger and give them the opportunity to survive and thrive. Cut the season to 76 games (four games against every other team in the league), and then run it like the And One league.  For the playoffs, have two conferences, with the top four records from each conference qualifying.

One reporter from Miami even had the audacity to say with a straight-face that the NBA is America’s new pastime.  I’m from Miami and I know that sparking up is pretty much second nature down there, but you'd have to be higher than Cheech and Chong to believe that take.  Miami doesn't care about the Heat without the "big three" and its fans are some of the worst around - so good luck with "America's Pasttime"...

College Football.  Hey Oregon, like sands through the hourglass you're time is winding down.  When the NCAA gets done deflecting questions about why they’re ignoring Ohio State, their attention is gonna turn to you, and they won’t let you off so easily.  Can you say Death Penalty???

I think I’m gonna start a weekly bashing about those who have jacked up out of conference schedules.  This week I start with Florida.  The Gators are playing Florida Atlantic, UAB, Furman, and Florida State – all at home.  Florida State is one thing, and bringing in money to Florida Atlantic is cool, but what’s with UAB and Furman? 


Douche Bag of the Week – Floyd “Money” Mayweather.  It's funny how this worm gets into a cash crunch and now he goes on the air and says he'll fight PacMan.  He got lucky and waited it out so now he'll earn $100 million for the fight.  The dumbest part of this whole thing is that we the sports fan will pay the outrageous fee to watch it.  Hey "Money", you don't want none of the PacMan and I for one can't wait to see you get pummeled. 



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