Daily Blog 2.0
Some Cheating OK by Baseball
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: MLB Yankees NHL Capitals

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!



23 Years and Counting......
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Nirvana Red Wings NHL Playoffs 23 straight years




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...

Talking Sports
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Masters Opening Day LIL Warriors

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.

NHL Update

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



Buzz from the Bleachers
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

I’m back and happily married!

Hi there folks. Welcome to Wednesday. As you may know, I’ve been out of things here at The Gab for a week or so. I ran back to Michigan to get hitched. My wife Lara and I tied the knot March 29. IHM served as my best man and kept things going for me here at The Gab. Things went off without a hitch, though we had a short reception so no video of IHM or I dancing.

The wife and I both really dig baseball. She’s a born and raised Tigers fan as well, so while we were in Kentucky for Opening Day, we stayed tuned in and followed the 4-0 start while we were road tripping. We took I-75 south from Warren, MI into Kentucky bourbon country. We picked two bourbon factories to tour: Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark. Both were interesting and entertaining tours and they did a good job of capturing the history, science, and art of bourbon distilling. 

The Beam tour is cool because you get a chance to participate in the process. We got to bottle, label, and then buy our own bottle of Jim Beam single barrel, which wasn’t even on store shelves just yet. The batch we helped bottle had been aged about 6 and a half years, which we took as a sign considering that’s as long as we’ve been dating. We bought our bottle and had it engraved with our wedding date. Anyone traveling through Pittsburgh after March 29, 2015 is more than welcome to come to Carnegie for a shot of 7 year old bourbon. We plan to crack that one open as we enjoy our wedding cake.

Maker’s Mark was cool because you have the opportunity to dip your own bottle in their signature red wax. We found out the wax was used as a tribute to methods used in the cognac business.  It’s also a much smaller operation. 

The plan from then was to come back and stop in Point Pleasant, West Virginia on the way. I always liked the Mothman story, even if the movie was a bit lacking. It was a bit eerie because we rolled over the Silver Bridge, which collapsed taking 46 souls into the Ohio River. Locals are mixed on the Mothman connection. I felt a bit shitty knowing that Mothman has a large statue, while the Silver Bridge has a silver plaque with the names of town officials on it and the names of the victims engraved on bricks below. You have to step on their names to read the thing.

Aside from seeing the Tigers take their first 4, I’ve noticed one odd trend develop so far: fans running onto the field. We’re about 8 games in and there’s been 2 incidents. Two guys ran onto the field while the O’s were spanking the Yanks. Back in Pittsburgh, a guy ran onto the field during the 7th inning pierogi race. I thought people were thinking better of the idiotic a ticket entitles you to anything approach. Looks like I was wrong. 

Adam Jones wasn’t happy about it either. Jones says he gave the fans hell as they were being led away. Jones believes the punishment should be harsher for fans who run onto the field. Obviously, the fans get ejected. They usually are assessed fines and are brought up on charges. Still, we’ve seen real safety issues behind this. I hope there is a lifetime ban from that stadium for the idiots in question. If people don’t learn from that, maybe jail time or level of misdemeanor needs to increase.

Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s all time home run record. Again, this brought up the idea of whether Aaron is still home run king. Bonds is in the books, but many die hard or old time fans reserve that spot for Aaron because he did it cleanly. Now, it’s public record that Aaron had a pre-recorded congratulatory message for Bonds the night he broke his record. Still, what a question to ask Hank Aaron: Does Bonds holding the title really bother you? Reading everything about Aaron that I have, it seems to me he wouldn’t make a big fuss about it.

John Calipari is tied up in rumors of going to coach in the NBA. In my opinion, any college coach is certifiably crazy if they’ll go to the NBA. There is no job security there. The players run the teams. If the star doesn’t like you, you’re sunk. College, on the other hand, is a sweet deal. Calipari would be crazy to leave the job he has at Kentucky to coach an aging Kobe and the Lakers.

Well, that’s all for me this week. Thanks again to my bro, IHM, for covering for me while I was running around the Bourbon Trail. Thanks for all the well wishes from you folks. Again, things went perfectly. Thanks as always for stopping in. Enjoy the early season baseball and the warm up heading in for the weekend.

Musings From The Hoodwood 4-8
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

Yeah put that national champion trophy over there with the other three...

Shabazz Napier leads the Huskies to the 2014 National title


Greetings from the Hoodwood where the patrons are trying to get over the college basketball season being over…I cant listen to One Shining Moment, it just means that another great season is history and the next time we’ll see good college basketball it will be cold again.

The Winnahs! The Huskies are top dog in college basketball

The National Championship trophy will head back to Storrs Connecticut for the 4th time in the last 15 years, Most Outstanding player Shabazz Napier leads the Huskies to a 60-54 win over the Kentucky Wildcats. The veteran laden Huskies of the neophyte American Conference got the best of the precocious band of freshman of Kentucky who many didn’t think were going to make it this far. The Huskies weren’t even eligible to make the tourney last year due to academic restrictions and this year got hammered at the end of the regular season by 33 points and again in the American conference title game both times by Louisville but the Huskies took their 7 seed fended off an upset minded St. Joes team and proceeded to knock off 3 straight higher seeded teams to win the East regional. The Huskies were decided underdogs in the national semifinals against the tourney #1 seed the Florida Gators. But they held the SEC champs to a single 3 pointer and a season low 53 points to advance to the national title game. The Wildcats, whom I was not very fond of, just seemed to be like a horror movie monster that wouldn’t die seemed to dodge one team after another as they knocked off Kansas State, unbeaten Wichita State, in-state rival Louisville and Big Ten heavy Michigan to get to North Texas then won a thrilling semifinal against Wisconsin but unlike all the other teams that faced UK. UConn didn’t wilt under a heavy charge by the Wildcats. All the teams they faced had sizeable leads. Louisville jumped out to an 18-5 lead in the regional semis. But Calipari’s freshmen phenoms ran out of gas in the finale where they made repeated charges by never took the lead. It was a thrilling game nonetheless and give the Huskies their due they are the best team in the land, the last team standing. Kevin Ollie at 41 (three months and one week younger than your humble scribe) is one the youngest coaches to ever win the title and won his first six tourney games (matching Steve Fisher’s 1989 feat at Michigan) The UConn ladies will try to match their male counterparts as they try to complete their 5th undefeated season in their storied history as they take on equally undefeated Notre Dame Irish in the national title tilt, Tuesday night. 

PGA: Does no Tiger mean the Masters is less relevant?

The focus of the golf world turns to Augusta and the famed course the holds the PGA’s first major the Masters. The focus though may not really on defending champ Aussie Adam Scott, but on a former champ who wont be there. Tiger Woods. THe Masters will not have Tiger prowling the hallowed grounds for the first time since 1996, but Woods was still an amateur then. This time Woods will miss his first Masters in his career as he recovers from back surgery. THe question begs itself will the media hype machine really be pumped up without Woods in the mix. Even last year with Woods more or less out of contention last year, the Masters still had the sheen and shine of must see golf. Now you wonder is this must watch or will it just another major with that Woods guy...

NHL/NBA: The drive to the playoffs

Im a Red Wings fan and all my adult life, Ive never not known the Wings to not be in the playoffs. The Wings last missed the playoffs in the 1989-90 season. Your humble scribe was getting ready to graduate from Mt. Healthy High school and the Wings were stumbling to 28-38-14…they still had tie games back then. The playoff miss broke a three year run of making the playoffs. But after that the Wings have made the playoff every season since that there have been a chase for Lord Stanley’s Cup. In 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008 the Wings have claimed the silver chalice but have made the playoffs year in and year out. That streak is in danger as the Wings are still trying to claim one of the last two playoff wild cards in their first year in the Eastern conference. The Wings played mediocre for a large part of the season and still have a negative goal differential but the Wings have seemingly put a late run together and are on the cusp of claiming a playoff berth for the 23 year in a row. No team in the four major pro sports have a streak that long. But the playoff picture overall is a wild one to be sure. In the Western conference five teams already have 100 points and the LA Kings are at 97 points with four games still to play a six seed with 100+ points? Whoa. In the east, the Bruins and Penguins have better than 110 points each and look to be the bullies in that conference.

Meanwhile in the NBA, the playoff situation is quite messy. In the west there is a distinct possibility that there will be a team that will win 50 games and miss the playoffs meanwhile in the east there could be two teams that make the playoffs with a losing record. I think the Knicks and Hawks neither of which will finish anywhere close to .500 will see playoff basketball while entertaining teams like the Suns and Grizzlies may miss out. I was arguing with a colleague at work who thought that the number of 50 win teams in the west meant a lower standard of pro ball out west. I think that the best basketball is being played out west.

Phat Dap/Head Slap


Phat Dap

To the newest members of the Basketball Hall of Fame class which includes Alonzo Mourning, Mitch Richmond, NBA Mafioso don David Stern and longtime college coach Nolan Richardson. As much as I knocked Stern he made the NBA what it is now and he brought hoops to the world masses.

Head Slap

To two lunkheads and a QB I usually think highly of.  Mets 2B David Murphy took paternity leave last week to be with his wife in Florida for the birth of their first child. Baby Noah was born last Monday and by all reports mother and baby were fine. Murphy missed the season opener and Wednesday’s game but drew flak from some media sources for “abandoning his team” loudest of the critics were Mike Francesa of WFAN a notorious loudmouth whos braying about Murphy sounded like pitiful whining by someone who you figure that his kids probably hate him anyway. But the other potshots were coming from the new sports morning duo of Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton of the WFAN/CBS Sports Network Boomer and Carton morning show. These nutjobs who are trying in vain to unseat the long time dominance of ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike took various potshots at Murphy. Esiason going so far as to openly wonder why Murphy’s wife didn’t plan better to have the child during the offseason.  And also suggested that she have a c-section earlier so as to not inconvience her husband. Francesa also chimed in asking what good would Murphy be present at the hospital. Now as a proud father of two daughters, I was present at the birth of each and would not have traded that experience for anything in the world. I was fortunate to be working at jobs that let me have the time off and I was grateful but I would not have missed the birth of my kids for anything. Murphy did the right thing and shame on these lunkheads especially Esiason who is well known for being a parent.

Random Thoughts

Wonder if the goober that got the tat proclaiming the UK Wildcats the national champs is regretting his decision yet

Julie Hermann, Rutgers AD who just is an idiot for wishing a paper to go under but says that she doesnt want to make headlines but makes comments like that??? What...were......you...thinking...

I went to charity fight and a hockey game broke out...did the NYPD and FDNY think that it was supposed to be the boxing matches but got misdirected to the hockey rink???

Finally repeated birthday wishes to my Grampy. Who celebrated his 90th birthday on Sunday. Hes a big time Cincinnati Reds fans and though he knows that the Dodgers moved to LA in 1958 (the year my namesake uncle was born) but still refers to them as the Brooklyn Dodgers. My Grampy is still sharp as a tack and when not watching baseball or his favorite animal shows on NatGeo still keeps up on the politics of the day. My Grampy is still the man to me, someone who taught me a lot about being a man and someone I still look up to and revere.

Until next post fellow sports fans. 

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