A lot has happened since I last posted up here, fellow Gabbers and the reason deserves some explanation. †Frankly speaking, all of the non-sports sports news put me into a bit of a writing funk. †Every day it was another athlete or coach making news for all of the wrong reasons. †Whether it was Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice or some other maroon (in Bugs Bunny speak) claiming the talking points for the day's sports news. †Well, I had enough...it was depressing. † And what better way to snap out of that sports malaise than a sports event binge! † I went to the 18 inning game 2 Nationals - Giants game followed up by the Monday Night Redskins - Seahawks game...nothing like some good sound defeats at the ballpark to bring things back into perspective! †We are fans because we love our teams, win or lose. †And it is the teams we love...not really the individual players who in reality (and most definitely proven lately) we barely know. †Yes, the players make it happen and we want the best players on our teams and hope they are good people who take care of the families, help out in the community and such, but as far as we as fans are concerned, we want them to be great when they step into the arena.
So with that perspective in mind, and with the air cleared for me...I'm back. †Go Redskins, Let's go Caps, Yesss Wizards and as for the Nationals, well, they still will be the favorites to win the NL in 2015 - and I will be there, God willing, to root them on. I will just have to admire those World Series tickets as a happy, wishful thought.
A few things happened that I think are worth mentioning....
Over the last 20 years, the Euros have won 7 of the 10 Ryder Cups, golfs best international event. †(as a note, this spans the Tiger Woods era). †After this event, the US team embarrasingly took to public bickering, lamblasting team captain and golf icon, Tom Watson. †Watson eventually came forward and said the loss was his fault - not true by the way - and tried to put the matter to bed. †The bottom line for U.S. golf is that the Euros have passed us by, just like they have in tennis. †Good heavens, what's next?! †basketball?! † They better figure out how to get along and play like a team or it may be a long time before the Ryder Cup (or maybe any international sports trophy) routinely resides in the ol' US of A.
I can't let the MLB playoffs go unnoticed...part of being a fan is the agony of defeat. †I felt confident that I would at least have an NLCS game to go to tonight, little did I know that if I wanted that, I would have to have scalped a ticket in Baltimore! †The Nationals pitching was again excellent but a team can't win when its lead off man and 3 & 4 hitters are hitting less than 50% BELOW the Mendoza line. †That is hard to believe...Werth & Roche hitting below .100! †At least Harper and Rendon showed that the youthful core of the team can hit in October.
Of the 4 teams left standing, I am picking Baltimore and St. Louis to meet in the World Series. †That would be a special match up!
Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it...see you next week (from Tokyo)...sayanora!
Hello Gabbers, and welcome to another weekly installment of Storminnorman's Sports Blog. Let me start by saying it was a crazy week in both College Football and Major League Baseball, with heavy favorites such as Alabama, Texas A & M, Tigers and Angels all falling in their respective games and series.
Seriously folks outside of Baltimore and Kansas City, who would have thought these two teams would be meeting for the to face the National League in the World Series? Honestly, the Tigers didn't deserve to win their series, their bully basically choked and was pitching batting practice to the Orioles hitters. Dombrowski made a pretty good move by acquiring Soria, but for some reason it just didn't work in this series.
I made the comment to a few of my friends at work after the series was over, and I mentioned to one of them how poorly Brad Ausmus managed Game 1 and 2. His moves during those two games reminded me of Jim Leyland, he pulled Scherzer after 98 pitches and the bully proceeded to give up 8. Verlander being pulled in the 6th was okay, because he was getting his ass rocked that day and didn't seem like himself. Ausmus went to the well once to often with Soria, Chamberlain and Choke-Zero, and he got burned. Maybe Dombrowski will get the hint this offseason, and sign a few free agent relief pitchers.....
But let's give the Royals and Orioles their dues, they outplayed and outpitched the Tigers and Angels during their series, and deserve to be playing each other in the ALCS. Good luck to both teams, it should be an interesting series.
In the National League, I really thought the Dodgers and Nationals had a legitimate chance of facing each other in the NLCS. Great pitching, great hitters and poof just like that the Cardinals and Giants disposed of them like we do our trash on a weekly basis. Hell if hadn't been of ex-Tiger Doug Fister and Ryu, both teams would have been swept. Who would have thought Kershaw would have blown up twice in the same series? Bet you Dombrowski is kicking himself for trading Fister, the Tigers sure could have used him this year....
Thursday night begins another season for the Detroit Red Wings, as they face off against Sully's Bruins. With the apparent youth movement in Detroit (mostly because Mr. I is spending it on the Tigers), this year could be the year the streak finally ends. I would like to see it continue, but they will be leaning on a Sheehan, Tatar, Nyquist and others to move the streak to 24. With Datsuyk starting out injured, even though he should be back really soon. The first few weeks will be rather interesting to say the least.....
I would have loved to have said something good about the Lions this week, but after Henery looking like Nate Freese last week missing 3 field goals which cost them the game, and the Lions playing to the Bills level, loving that Lions defense still. I have been considering playing Teddy Bridgewater this week......
How can a team look like Super Bowl contenders one week, and then revert back to themselves the next? Oh wait, I am talking about the Lions. Couldn't score another touchdown, and looked like a really bad high school team offensively. Oh wait, I am talking about the Lions. I guess you get were I am going with this........
Well that's all I have for the week, don't forget to turn left and give a shout out to Hal....
There are things we think we know and there are things we donít know such as the Cincinnati Bengals over the New England Patriots as a no brainer. This based on a3-0 Bengals team and a Patriots team that had been playing like the 2-14 1981 Patriots.
Of course the Patriots came out and played liked much as they did over the past decade firing on all cylinders.
As fans we often react to the last thing we see. Here in Boston we tend to over react we tend to ride extreme highs and more extreme lows. The truth lies somewhere in the middle teams are often not as bad as we make them out to be and often not as good as we think they are.
The reason being we react in the moment, they should have done this or should have done that. However, we often donít know why a team does what they do. Letís face folks they have a lot more information then we do. When they run on third down and fall shrt we are all saying they should have passed. When they pass and fall short they should run or should have thrown to a different guy. I contend that sometimes a team will do something and itís ok if that play doesnít work often times itís either to test something or they are using it to do something else.
As fans itís our job to be critical itís our job to ride the highs and th lows and it is our job to voice our opinions whether they be negative or positive, Tom Brady this week called out ESpins Craig Mortensen over Mortensen saying Brady had tensions with the coaching staff and a diminishing input on game planning decisions..I give Brady alot of credit in this one taken one of these guys to task.
I guess do we hold the media to a higher standard then we hold ourselves as we should. †When we think critically we often question the media and their presentation. of their subjects.
My point is I want the media to present things as factual and as detailed as possible based on reliable information.I want it presented with out spin and I want presented so I can form my own opinion. . I put columnist in a different catergory they are paid to write about their †opinion on subject and it's made for us to agree or disagree. I put national TV guys who are all about spin and less about facts. .I want the media to be critical when they need to be and I want them to slap a team or a player on th back when it is called for.
Unfortunately, often thatís not the case take for example the Boston Red Sox media during the David Ortiz era there is too much praise and not enough cricticism even in this dreadful year. For example we heard Jackie Bradley Jr. was the second coming of Ted Williams. Bradley appears to be a great kid , awesome defensively, except he canít hit big league pitching. Maybe the media pushed this kid because he is a good kid but somebody had to know he would struggle at the plate and yeah it was mentioned here and there but just sort of in passing.
I guess the Bottomline is that I just want the media to give us something I didnít know that are factual without the spin. As for being a fan I never try to get too high or low I just sort ride the wave out and see what happens that I think comes with age.
The Puck was dropped last night at 4 rinks. The scores were 2-1, 4-3, 4-0, 4-2 ok Boston, Montreal, San Jose and Vancouver were your winners opening night.
Lil Lakesiders Report
The boys got crashed 8-1 Lil Lanz popping in the only score of the night. He received a pass and the slot and poked it home.
Jeff was correct again.
The three options you receive when a Free Kick or Kick off that goes out of bounds are.
1)Take the ball 30 yards from the previous spot
2)Penalize the kicking team 5 yards and have them rekick for the 35 instead of the 40 in HS and 30 instead of the 35 in college.
3) take the ball five yards from where it went out of bounds.. This option is rarely taken this was the harder of the two.
Welcome to Wednesday, Gabbers. I am still in shock over the ALDS games. Donít get me wrong they were fun to watch, though rage inducing for Tigers fans. I just didnít† see either sweep. Heck, I didnít stay up long enough to even see the Royals coming. Now, along with the Oís, the Royals are one of the last teams standing. While itís a great story, Iím still pulling for the Orioles to win.
Iíll echo my brother, IHM, by the way: Why do the Tigers keep pitching to Nelson Cruz?
Meanwhile, in the National League, the series are a little more interesting. Just like the AL, the Giants took a quick 2 game lead in their series. Unlike the AL, the Nationals fought back to take game 3. All the games have been close. Itís been a great show. St. Louis and LA are slugging it out and trading games. The Cards took game 1. The Dodgers took game 2. The Cards got game 3. I figured the Dodgers would take this and Kershaw is looking good so far, but the Cards are matching his scoreless innings.
I have to agree with several Gabbers: this has been an amazing MLB season.
Now the Tigers are facing the same question: what kind of a bullpen can we make? What do we have in the minors? There doesnít seem to be much. Are the Tigers going to overpay for over the hill or mediocre relief pitching? Thereís really no good answer. Scherzer is gone, but we can make a good rotation even without him. We have obvious needs: bullpen and bats on the bench.
Arian Foster agrees with NFL fans: Thursday night games suck. Foster argues that the games are annoying for players. Iíd agree. Imagine playing Monday night and then having to get ready for Thursday. As far as I can tell, the NFL tries not to do that, but even a Sunday to Thursday game gives players little chance to rest up. I know it bugs fantasy players as well. My wife hates it.
I heard another NFL topic that made me pause too: Are the Steelers still an elite franchise? In terms of sheer fan loyalty, passion, and numbers, Iíd say yes. People here still give the Steelers more love than the Pirates. Still, thereís a lot of disappointment. Thereís no more running game. (It went up in smoke.) The defense is nothing like most of us remember. They really havenít been a threat for 2 seasons and they donít look it this season. I wonít go too far and accept that they are done as an elite franchise, but theyíve got a ways to go to right their franchise.
OH, and if we want to bring back douche of the year, how about the Highland Hills boys soccer team in PA? They have a tradition of duct taping players to the goal. Youíd figure theyíd be smart enough to quell this in the wake of current sentiment, but no. If anything, they made it worse. Members of the team duct taped an autistic boy to the goal and left him on his own for 15 minutes. The school has since suspended the coach and two of the players for 5 days. I donít know if Iíd suspend the season, but Iíd seriously consider it as an AD.
That is it for this week. Thanks as always for stopping by and reading. Iím planning on being out of the retail biz by the end of the week. Iím giving a two week notice, because subbing is that much more lucrative. Iím hoping not working as much gives me more time with my wife, but also more time here with you folks.
Greetings from the Hoodwood, where summer and warm weather left and didnít even leave a goodbye letter.
Back to the 80s: The Royals and Orioles return to the spotlight
I grew up in the 80s, ESPN wasnít the monolith that it is now, and was a nice supplement to sports page. You didnít have fifty thousand specialty sports channels, depending on your point of view could be a good or bad thing. The baseball playoffs were the center of the sports universe in October, the League Championship series were a best of five prelude to the fall classic. Teams like the Royals and Orioles were postseason staples. The Orioles won the World Series in 83 when I was in the 6th grade, beating the Wheeze Kid Phillies in 5 and The Royals won the series 2 years later finally beating in state rival St. Louis in 7 thrilling games. No one ever figured when Cal Ripken caught the last line drive in the 83 season that it would be 14 years before they would return to the postseason and no one thought that when Bret Saberhagen and George Brett watched the final out of the 85 series arm in arm before setting off a riotous celebration that it would be 29 years before the Royals would be playing in October again. No one thought the 85 title would be the capstone of a franchise that was considered the model modern day franchise. From 76-85 The Royals would finish no lower than second in any full year,† and made the divisional series in the strike shortened í81 season (They called them the mini-playoffs then, cute) and had only one losing season (but finished 2nd that year) After winning the series in 85, they stayed respectable winning as many as 92 as late as 1989 and 84 in 1993, though they finish 2nd in 1995, they were 30 games back of the Indians and wouldnít get close to the first division again for nearly 20 years the nadir being losing 100 or more games in four of five seasons between 2002-2005 with only an 83-79 aberration in 2003. The Royals were the Pirates of the AL, small market team crying that they couldnít compete but after winning 86 games in 2013 and staying in the playoff race until the last week of the season optimism was high for 2014 and the Royals cashed in leading the division for much of the year, though they faded somewhat down the stretch they hung on for their first playoff appearance since winning it all in 1985. Many pundits figured the Royals might be a token player against the playoff tested Aís but after rallying to win the wild card game in a frantic nail biting thriller, the Royals headed west to face the 98 win Angels who sported MLBís best record. Undaunted the Royals won two more extra-inning games before stunned crowds in Anaheim before putting the Angels out of their misery Sunday, thrashing the AL West champs 8-3 before a deliriously happy throng in KC. Sporting signs like party like its 1985. Royal fans havenít had this much fun in a generation. Only 2 players in their starting lineup were even born when the Royals won it all.
On the other side you have the Orioles, a team that after being long time sad sack as the old St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954 and became respectable in the 60ís steadily climbing as the Mantle Yankee dynasty was crumbling, molding themselves into the model modern franchise upsetting the Dodgers in the 1966 World Series and under the stewardship of the crusty irascible managerial genius of Earl Weaver won 100 or more games 5 times and winning the 1970 World Series. From 1967-1985 The Orioles never had a losing record and finished no worse than 4th in that period. They were the gold standard of baseball in the American League. The Oriole way was the way baseball was supposed to be played when I was growing up, but after Earl Weaver retired and his right hand man Joe Altobelli stepped away himself the Orioles began to slowly fade away till they bottomed out in 1988 with the horrendous 0-21 start and 54-107 season, they were more or less the dregs of the American League for a while and aside from a brief renaissance in 1996 & 1997 where they made the playoffs were mediocre more or less the whole entire time. The Orioles faded as the Yankees and Red Sox rose back to prominence, and the Orioles playing in their beautiful ballpark played middle of the road baseball for the part of the last decade.† So now you have two teams that have been out of the spotlight for so long that their collective arrival is a breath of fresh air.
College Football: Frantic Saturday
It really began on Thursday when Arizona went to the Autzen Zoo and stunned the #2 Ducks. You just donít go into Autzen and knock the Ducks off and it wasnít a fluky game, they dominated Oregon and the zoo got quieter and quieter. Then the madness continued on Saturday where #1 Bama got zapped in Oxford by Ole Miss settling off the wildest of postgame celebrations in the fabled grove. But just across the state, Mississippi State routed #6 Texas A&M in Starkville more or less putting Kenny Trillís Heisman threat on ice. But it didnít stop there, TCU played a late pick six to knock off Oklahoma. So if youíre counting that is four top ten teams including the top two teams. Notre Dame needed a late score to beat Stanford. Add to the mix Arizona State stunning USC on a hail Mary; Northwestern shutting down Wisconsinís feared running game and Utah State thrashing Brigham Young in Provo and you had no fewer than 7 ranked teams taking an L this past Saturday. This is way more than the every weeks a playoff concept, the upset make college football must see TV
To the New England Patriots who in the middle of their 43-17 rout of the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday night took time to give love to Devon Still whose daughter is fighting cancer. The Pats cheerleaders were all wearing Devon Still jerseys in honor of Leahís fight and there was a presentation on the jumbotron and the Kraft family donating $25,000 to the cause. Say what you want about Belichick, Brady and the actual football team, but the organization is pure class
To the stupid antics of the Jacksonville Jaguars mascot who thought it would be cute to make fun of the Pittsburgh terrible towel. Nothing wrong with making fun of it. Iíve seen opposing players and fans use the towel as shoeshine rag, handkerchief and mock toilet wipe. Jackson De Ville the mascot went way too far sporting a sign that said ďTowels have EbolaĒ How stupid can one be, making light of a deadly disease and one that could be in the country is not funny at all. The Jaguars were highly apologetic and said that the matter would be handled internally, but I like others failed to see where there was any humor here.
Are there people that think that Kobeís return will make them a 50 win team?
Harper and the Nats go to Frisco and winÖthat series is going the distance.
The Cards and Dodgers really donít like one another, and the chirping is making the series a real doozy
My fantasy team finally escaped winless islandÖwhile my other is still unbeaten but we got away with a tie.
Hockey season is about to startÖwait didnít the Kings just raise the Cup last week???