Daily Blog 2.0
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?

World Cup Wrap Up: Facepalm for the Hosts
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: world cup fifa germany argentina diego maradonna hand of god

As an aside. 

I finally made it back to Atlanta this week, but my hopes of connecting with Sully were dashed by corporate executives.  It was a long shot given the schedule while I was there, but I always hope to connect with him.  If you’re ever in the area, be sure to hit up Sully because it’s always worth the time spent.  This is the time of year my job changes from sitting around eating bon bons and giving advice to sitting around eating bon bons and crunching excel spreadsheets, then going around telling people what data I uncovered.  The real problem is that it comes at the expense of vacationing on a beach somewhere.

Futures at Fenway. We went to the 9th "Futures at Fenway" Sunday.  Short season Lowell Spinners played Mahoning Valley (OH) Scrappers at Fenway.  The Red Sox affiliate was 1 out away (sound familiar anyone?) from a 1-0 win when somehow the Scrappers, a Cleveland Indians affiliate, scored 6 runs with 2 out in the 9th.  Um.  Ouch.  When Shane Victorino was introduced, the fam couldn't figure out why everyone was cheering, so I calmly explained this guy happens to have the same name as a current Sox player.  Oops.

I promise this will be the last soccer post for a while.  Really.

This week saw the remarkable exit of host Brazil from the World Cup.  Germany displayed dominance early and never relinquished control.  7-1 final – and you thought there wasn’t enough scoring in soccer.  Not only scoring, but some of the most dominant displays of offense while scoring that I’ve seen.  Just a ridiculous overpowering of the hosts unlike anything I could’ve imagined.

And then to top it off, Brazil was handed what was left of their pride by the Netherlands in the consolation game, 3-0, starting about 2-minutes into the game.  Long a Red Sox fan, I’m familiar with epic collapses and how badly they sting. Losing like that must be like losing a Super Bowl because some unremarkable special teamer catches a ball on his helmet to keep a drive alive. 

I’m hopeful Brazil is a much more forgiving place for soccer failure than, say, Columbia.  In 1994, when the World Cup was hosted by the US, the US and Columbia were in the same grouping.  In group play, Andres Escobar was charged an “own goal” against the US in a game won by the US 2-1, and thus contributing to the exit of Columbia from the tournament – ultimately won by Brazil.  A couple weeks later, he was gunned down in a parking lot in Medellin. 

That’s some hard core stuff. 

Germany/Argentina Final.

Before Sunday, Germany and Argentina had met for the final 2 other times with the record split between them.  Of the 21 championships, only 8 countries have won it.  Consider that.  A quadrennial tournament involving 64-countries and only 8 have ever won.  Kind of reminiscent of 1950’s/60’s NHL dominance by the Habs, or the half century long dominance of Major League Baseball by the Yankees.   Argentina went into the game as the 1986 Champion, there on the back of two of the most unusual goals in soccer history: “The Hand of God” and “The Goal of the Century”  Diego Maradonna was a beast.  Germany last were champions by defeating the reigning champs Argentina – who, as just discussed, won 4 years previously against England.

Those refs should be eternally thankful English fans aren’t quite like Colombian drug dealers when “correcting” for mistakes.

Here’s a video of the “Goal of the Century.”  You should watch this even if you can’t stand soccer, because it shows just such amazing control and skill.  You have to appreciate what Maradonna does here.

Germany reigns.  203 countries enter the competition, 64 countries get in.  800 some games. 4 year journey to this point. And then... After 113 minutes of scoreless action, Mario Gotze drilled a shot home to seal the World Cup deal for the Germans.  Is there a more odd name than Mario Gotze?  How many Germans do you know named Mario?  Do yourself a favor, and click that link, because it's a pretty awesome goal.  Bear in mind, the US lost to this same team 1-0.  If nothing else, you have to believe the US Mens National Team has a ton of potential.  They're ready for the world stage.

In other news, there was some movement in the NBA free agent market.

 

NASCAR Update And Other Fast Stuff 7-13-14
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: New Hampshire Daytona Race Team Alliance Carl Edwards Kurt Busch

                        

HO HEY HO - HO HEY HO - What's the use of worrying? That's what Paul McCartney just asked me. Very hard to concentrate with my iTunes on. BUT...Welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR updates and other fast stuff. Had the last 2 days off because of physical inventory and I really needed the down time to recoup from all the OT I've been doing. Got messages in my email and answering machine telling me the building is back up and functional and that there is plenty more OT available. I'm ignoring that. 

Played on You Tube all day watching concerts. Found a great Alice Cooper one from recent times. He sang a song called Brutal Planet. Never heard it before but DAMN he was awesome. Maybe I should try and get tickets for the Motley Crue / Alice Cooper show in August. Then I found some old footage of Little Feat that must've just been posted. Love that song Fat Man in a Bath Tub.

Funny how things change. Record companies used to send cease and desist orders to You Tubers that posted music videos. Now they love it. I'm seeing stuff I knew there had to be more of. Saw a sound check for Stevie Ray Vaughn in 1986. He had just rolled out of bed and looked like it too. Man I wish I'd gotten to see him. How do your fingers move that fast & well that early in the morning?

9 RACE TEAMS FORM THE RTA

So what is the RTA? It's short for Race Team Alliance. They swear it's not a union and they aren't going to pick on NASCAR (but me thinks this will happen eventually). The 9 teams are Chip Gnassi Racing - Team Penske - Hendrick Motor Sports - Roush Fenway Racing - Michael Waltrip Racing - Joe Gibbs Racing - Richard Childress Racing - Richard Petty Motor Sports - Stewart Haas Racing

Rob Kauffman co-owner of MWR was voted chairman of the RTA.

Mission? To create an open forum for the teams to explore areas of common interest and collaborate on initiatives to help preserve, promote & grow the sport of stock car racing. They will work as a positive force to sustain business. Looking for ways to engage NASCAR to cut expenses on travel, parts & testing.

It will consist of full time teams that will pay dues to offset costs incurred by the not for profits initiatives. Part time teams would not have the same issues as a full time team. It is estimated that the Sprint Cup teams combined spent an estimated $50 Million on travel last year. 

NASCAR says it will be business as usual and they hold no animosity towards the newly formed group. Bruton Smith has said he will stand shoulder to shoulder with NASCAR against this group. He's not happy with them. Bruton is an owner of 3 tracks and business man who in Kauffman's opinion is quite colorful. That in my opinion is a nice way of putting it.

What could possibly be worrying Bruton Smith? Well, Roger Penske, the Captian as he is also know is a member of another group too. It's called CART - Championship Auto Racing Teams which is for Indy Car teams. They formed and wrestled control of Indy Car from the USAC. Cue the Jaws theme.

NASCAR has increacingly pushed the stars forward in their advertising. Back in 1969 the drivers formed the Professional Drivers Association when they feared the conditions of the new Talladega track. The track was chewing up the tires. The race went on without them and the association fell by the wayside. I'm not so sure that NASCAR could pull that off again.

With social media in it's glory at this moment it would be tough to carry on without the stars of the day on the track. Or...maybe not. There was a meeting on Bill France Sr's yacht with Rick Hendrick and Dale Earnhardt Sr many years ago which ended in Bill pointing his finger in Rick's face telling him that NASCAR doesn't need you. Bill is gone now and his son Brian now runs the sand box. 

Have the tables turned? NASCAR has been saying for the past 10 years or so that they wanted to cut costs but I haven't seen it. They made them switch to the new Gen 6 car and then to fuel injection with all it's computer soft ware. I haven't seen any cost savings. Jimmie Johnson has said he'd love a 25 race schedule. Will the races be cut down? What tracks do you eliminate? There's going to be some very upset track owners if the schedule gets cut.

Racing is an extremely expensive sport. I guess the owners feel it's time to get proactive with the purse strings. Sponsorship dollars only stretch so far. Another worry seems to be that the teams will go after the $8.2 Billion tv money for the 2015 season. They recieve 25% right now. This is definitely a wait and see cat & mouse game about to start here. Stay tuned.......

EDWARDS STILL NO ANNOUNCEMENT

Still no word on where Edwards will go next year. No word on if he stays in the #99 at RFR either. It was reported that he did talk to Richard Childress Racing in March. They were very interested saying he is a franchise driver and worth courting. But Carl said no. So we are left to wonder. Is it off to JGR in 2015 or does he stay at RFR? 

KIDS CHOICE AWARDS ON NICK.COM UP FOR VOTES

Dale Jr and The Danica are up for votes on Nick.com for Best Male Athlete and Best Female Athlete. So I guess you should get your kids and grandkids to vote. Maybe Josh Wise's fan on Reddit will commandeer that award for him too. 

KURT BUSCH DOCKED POINTS FOR DAYTONA POST RACE INFRACTION

The diference between 2 parts on the right rear sub frame mounting bracket was more than 3 inches after the rain shortened Daytona race on Ku Bu's car. It's located in the back where they stick the crooked wrench during the race.....track bar adjustment. That means minus 10 point for Ku Bu, minus 10 owners points for Gene Haas and a $10,000 fine for crew chief Daniel Knost. So Ku Bu is still mired back in 26th in points with 1 win. He'd still be in the Chase in 10th with that win if the Chase were to begin today but it ain't so he needs to get his horse up there into another win.

DAYTONA RECAP

What a freaking nightmare for fantasy owners. Except the 1st place guy I play with in my salary cap league. Dude has a crystal ball or he's damn lucky. 

20 laps in was supposed to be a competition caution but Stenhouse loses control of his car, saves it and Gordon hits him in the rear starting a 14 car wreck. There goes 5 of my drivers in my leagues.

Lap 30 - The Danica makes it back out there in the 20's. Amazing. right? Dale Jr is 1 lap down in 35th. Your top 5 is Sorenson - Cassill - Ragan - McMurray - Biffle. Cars in the garage? Stewart - Harvick - Johnson - Bayne - Edwards - Larson - Allmendinger - Stenhouse.

By lap 50 Biffle takes the lead. 

Lap 60 Ku Bu leads. Edwards returns his fixed car to the track followed by Larson and Stewart.

Pit stops on lap 87 and The Danica is in the top 10 but over shoots her pit box and now she's watching the lead pack driving away. Is that cursing on the radio I hear?

Lap 98 Almirola takes the lead and HOLY CRAP IT'S A 27 CAR WRECK!!!!!! Ky Bu is upside down. Harvicks wife tweets - "Rock paper scissors for the win"

So now there are about 17 cars on the track. It's blocked. Red flag comes out. A huge black cloud is in the distance and before it's all said and done the sprinkles begin to fall and the new track drying Air Titans can't keep up. They try to get more racing in but by lap 109 the caution flag comes out for good and the race is called when it begins to pour. Biffle's 89 Did Not Finish streak ends with 50 laps to go being stuck in the garage for repairs and Almirola driving the iconic #43 wins on the 30th anniversary of Richard Petty's 200th win. 

Top 15 Finishers - Almirola - Vickers - Ku Bu - Mears - Dillon - McDowell - Danica - Bowyer - Ambrose - Terry Labonte - Gordon - Bowman - Dale Jr - Truex Jr

NEW HAMPSHIRE PREVIEW

This week we're in New Hampshire. A very flat track with very little banking that you need to be able to keep the car flat on the track. No hopping. It slows you down. Tire management and track position are key here. 

Ky Bu has the pole with a lap of 138.130 mph. Mark Martin got the first pole here back in 1993 with a lap of 126.871 mph. Ky Bu fought hard for the win in the Nationwide Series on Saturday but Keselowski just had it going on and took it. If bad luck don't strike it should be a top 10 IF HE DON"T SELF DESTRUCT.

Stewart needs to get hot. No W's yet. Wonder if the leg of his is giving him issues. He'll never admit it. He has 17 top 10's here. Was leading in the end last year but it turned into a fuel mileage affair and with 5 laps to go he had to get fuel. He starts 4th today. Top 10

Gordon is 1st in the points, has 5 - 2nd places here and 22 top 10's Gotta give him a top 10

Johnson starts 2nd here today. Mr Threat to Win it is a top 10 in my book.

Hamlin is awesome at this track with an average finish of 9.0. He starts 3rd today but his season so far leaves me guessing on whether I should trust him. Out of 18 races not including the All Star he has 6 top 10's and 1 of them was his W to get into the Chase. Consult your favorite tarot card reader on him.

Dale Jr has been Mr Consistancy. Only 4 bad races. Everything else is top 10's.

Bowyer 11th here last year. He has 10 top 10's this season so far. Top 15

Harvick starts 12th today and was 5th fastest in Happy Hour practice Saturday. Top 10.

Edwards had a 3rd place here last year. Top 10

Keselowski has been on fire. He dominated and won Kentucky. He dominated the Nationwide race Saturday with 152 laps. Definitely a threat to win.

Logano wrecked his car in practice. Went to the back up and had his left wrist wrapped. He says it won't bother him and he has a fast car. Top 10

Vickers won here last year. He's on and off again all season so far. Top 15

Kahne is another hit or miss. Only 8 top 10's so far this year. Top 15

Kenseth starts 15th but not to worry. Only 4 bad races. Top 10

Ku Bu led the most laps last year with 102 but a late run in with Newman on a restart put him out. Top 10 IF HE DON"T SELF DESTRUCT.

Newman had a top 3 here last year. Top 15

McMurray starts 5th today. Top 15

Larson is definitely your rookie to watch. Top 15 or better.

Morgan Shepherd makes another appearance in the #33 at 72 years, 9 months & 1 day. VVVVRRRRRRRRR-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM-MMM-MMM-MMM

Jeff Burton will be in the #66 for MWR. Worth a pick up in your salary cap league as he will be cheap. 

Another cheapie would be a guy named Eddie MacDonald from the K&N Series. Has 3 W's there at this track in that Series.

Well it's 10:30 Saturday night and I'm needing to go to bed. So to all you Gabbers and others I say safe travels, enjoy your Sunday, try to avoid LeBron Mania best you can and take care.

And I'm outta here....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturdays Surprise - 7/12/14
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

Surprise!  Like that bad penny, I just keep showing up.

Hey look, it's Saturday afternoon, but I'm just gonna drop a few thoughts on ya:

NBA:  If I'm Adam Silver, NBA Commish or Mickey Aronson, owner of the Miami Heat, I'm pissed at the embarrassment known as my fans.  Booing the product he spent large coin for and got to four NBA finals?  Are you kidding me?  Look, we all know that most of those "fans" were bandwagons and transplants from other places (mostly New York) and that the folks of South Florida stood no chance of getting in to see a game.  Listen, Miami is a beautiful place with a great vibe and fantastic things to do, not to mention phenomenal sporting venues (wait until that Football stadium is redone), but the problem is that they adopted an LA philosophy, the people are plastic, and that sucks.  

I know it's old fashioned to look at things this way, but has the fan experience in the NBA just kind of gone the way of the do-do bird?  It seems to me that especially in the NBA, "the beautiful people" have kind of taken over the representation at games, and to me that sucks.

MLB.  As I warned many of you on Facebook, there will be Gab representation at the MLB All-Star Home Run Derby as Jerry unexpectedly got tickets to the event, so he'll be driving up tomorrow and spending the day in Minny.  Happy for him, you don't get this chance often, so take advantage.  I should have some pics to share for you all on Tuesday.  

NFL.  Sounds as if this decades version of the Turk made his way into many NFL franchises this week with folks getting suspended four games.  Dion Jordan, the #3 overall pick last season from the Miami Dolphins got caught up and a few others.  

But while that is going on, the NFL is strangely silent on punishment for owner Jim Irsay of the Colts.  There is one particular reporter who has an absolute beef w/the NFL on this and you know what, he's right!  Why isn't Irsay being dealt with?

There is a rumor (unsubstantiated at this point) that the Raiders have entered into some sort of agreement to have the Oakland Coliseum torn down in 2015 and commence building a new stadium on the same plot of land.  Funny part there, was it was news to the A's, who just signed a ten year lease to continue to play in that very same Coliseum.  Somebody is lying here...

The Houston Texans aren't trading Andre Johnson.  Keep an eye on this one, especially if the Texans start out poorly.

Richard Sherman vs. Michael Crabtree just doesn't stop, and now LB Ahmad Brooks joined in saying "see you on the field Dick."  Memo to both these a-holes:  We get it you two don't like each other.  Save it for the field and not the off-season.  Sherman has scoreboard, and the 49ers just need to shut their yaps and focus on being better than the She-hawks.

 

Storminnorman's Sports Blog 7/11
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Aroldis Chapman MLB and other things...

As I sit here and watch the Reds and Cubs in extras, I was wondering what the hell Aroldis Chapman was thinking when he was taunting the Cubs bench during the nineth inning. I was keeping count of the pitches he threw during that inning, and only 5 pitches were below 90 mph. Most pitches were between 100 and 103 mph and were unhittable, and everytime he threw a pitch he would look either towards the bench or the hitter and smirk. Chapman was lucky that Rizzo didn't kill him in between innings, because he was chirping at the Cubs players as they took the field. I then asked myself a question, why would someone with that kind of talent taunt the Cubs players. Then I remembered a trip to Cincinnati that the Tigers made a couple years ago, and the Tigers blew his ass up in the 9th, and made him look like a minor league player at best.

I guess we all have our moments, where we think we are better than everyone on the planet, but it comes down to sportsmanship and the crappy example Chapman set by nearly causing a bench clearing brawl between innings. Is this the kind of example we want to set for our kids? I think not, and if anything Bud Light and his gang of knuckleheads should take a look at this and discipline both Rizzo and Chapman for their actions. If you have time, watch Quick Pitch on MLB, because they will be beating this incident into the ground on Friday, there really is no need for any of this in any professional sports.

There was a part of me that wished Rizzo would have kicked his cocky ass, but like always the players stepped in and really kept this from being a Sports Center moment that everyone would not have wanted to see the weekend before the All-Star break.

LeBron, LeBron, LeBron, just can't ride out into the sunset and leave Miami without some big stage production can you? Noone outside of the Heat and Cav's actually care if you disappear right off the face of the earth, so just decide what you want to do so we can get on with our summer. Sure it would be nice if you wound up in Detroit, because you are the one piece of the puzzle that could actually return the Pistons back to the playoffs. Highly unlikely but everyone has a dream, and just think of the story that would lead to, Melo would want to follow and you could probably sucker D-Wade and Bosh into following you, but once again only a dream. 

You are also a great role model for the youth of today, backing out of a contract or obligation just because you didn't win a championship this year. Think about this LeBron, most of us wouldn't get this opportunity to choose where we want to work, and back out of our obligation to our job whenever we feel like it, just because we have millions of dollars and don't give a shit about the city we represented for the past two years. You destroyed the Cavs team, even though they have benefited rather nicely from your departure and the sad thing is, is they are considering taking you back. I think their owner should be drug tested, because he is just that damn ignorant, but who could blame him for wanting the best player in the NBA, regardless of whether or not he screwed him and the city he represented.

In this free market society we live in, I guess it's LeBron's right to choose where he wants to play but it leads me to this, what if this was an NBA conspiracy to give the Heat two titles, and build the Cavs through Draft Choices? The year before Bosh, and James joined the Heat, they completely dismantled the team in order make room to sign them, and now the "Big 3" basically want to jump ship and go to another team. LeBron's group says he hasn't made a decision, which is not true, he decided to opt-out of his contract as did Bosh and become free agents. So basically they said F-you to the city of Miami and their ownership group. how fair is that?

I probably missed a few things, but I will let you add to this rant. Hell I am starting to sound like B.O.B., which really isnt a bad thing at times. I wouldn't want a broken down and aging D-Wade, and Bosh has shown signs of slowing down. Correct me if I am wrong, but D-Wade isn't half the player he was when the Heat signed James and Bosh a couple years back. His knees are shot, he can't jump or shoot like he used too, so I guess what I am saying to the City of Miami, is get ready to rebuild via the draft, because you have already lost the core of your team unless LeBron is using this as leverage to encourage the Heat to sign Melo.

The real truth of the matter is that I am getting really sick of waking up and listening to the LeBron watch for which I really could care less, unless he was considering playing in Detroit.......

I was going to rant about the Tigers, but I feel no real need to, as they seem to be righting the ship a bit before the All-Star break, without V-Mart they handled the Dodgers rather easily.

Hey B.O.B. you back home yet, or are you still on your roadtrip? 

Well that's all I got for now, please feel free to stop by and leave your comments. Don't forget to stop by and visit Hal on the other side. 

Have a great week, I am on vacation next week!

 

 

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