We’ve made it halfway through the workweek, albeit a short one. The fiancé is off on her first business trip. While I miss her, I do get to test our new tv out on some sports. Right now that entails a White Sox-Yankee game. Of course this is a great excuse to cheer for the White Sox.
The Stankees (for those of us who love to hate them)/Yankees (for those that genuinely like them) have managed to creep back into the playoff picture. They are sitting 2.5 games out of the wild card race. Given everything they’ve had thrown at them this year, I have to give Girardi and his team a lot of credit. They came into the season knowing they wouldn’t have Jeter. The rehab has been tough on Jeter, though he’s getting some DH time tonight. They have ARod and whatever anyone can make of his situation.
They are also watching the farewell tour of their great closer Mariano Rivera. In his 18th and final season, the man has a 2.16 ERA and is well above his career save average with 39 and counting. Oh, and he comes into the game to this…
He is rocking Metallica. This fact has not escaped the band. Many are reporting on the possibility of Metallica performing the song live during Rivera’s final home stand at Yankee Stadium. Hetfield and the other members of the band have not ruled the rumor out. Hetfield has even commented that he’s never watched a ballgame at Yankee Stadium, but he’s played there. Hetfield and the band also note that they are excited that one of their signature songs has such an impact in the world of sport.
"I love the fact that we inspire some next level of performance," he said, "because that does it for us, too. We love playing it and it shows."
Joe Girardi has come out recent to lobby for another season of Rivera closing for the Pinstripes. Rivera, however, knows that the time is right for him to leave. The Yankees could be in good hands, too. Set-up man David Robertson has been an All-Star several times and has earned a few saves for himself. Failing that, they’re the Yankees. They can go purchase a closer.
The biggest story of late is that its football season. The NFL will kick off this weekend to all the fan fare and pomp we’ve come to expect. What is missing or lagging in all of this is a fan’s ability to post to Twitter or Facebook from the stands. At the start of the season, CNN reports that only half of all NFL stadiums have WiFi. None of the stadiums with WiFi have upgraded their systems to optimum levels.
So we ask: this is news because? One of the growing complaints about the league is that games are becoming so much less about the game and so much more about status. The common fan has already been priced out of attending many games. The new concern seems to be that the fans that can afford to attend won’t be able to let everyone know that they are there.
I found this story on my friend Adam Mitchell’s Facebook page. He sums everything up nicely.
You don't need the internet at a sporting event. There is exactly no god damn good reason to get on the internet. Watch the fucking game or don't go.
Another big story came from the swamps of Mississippi this weekend. It’s gator season. Gator numbers have rebounded throughout the southern US, as have the American crocodile numbers. While the crocs are still off limits, gator hunting is on the rise as a sport.
A few days into the opening of Mississippi’s season, their state record has been broken…twice. The first gator broke the old record by 26 pounds. A team of 7 people hauled 13 foot, 5.5 inch, 723.5 pound monster from the swamps. An hour later, three men hauled in a 13 foot, 4.5 inch gator weighing 727 pound gator from the Mississippi River.
The record in Florida is 14 feet, 3.5 inches. That gator weighed only 654 pounds.
That is it for me this week. I officially have roots down here in PA. I got my temporary PA license. Might have to get myself a McCutchen shirt too. You gotta see the one I mean. Thanks as always for stopping in. I leave you with your word of the week.
Seat gypsy, noun
A person or group of people that travel from one unclaimed seat to another (normally at sporting events) because their cheap asses couldn't fork up the money for better seats. Said people are forced to move once seats are claimed by the rightful ticket holders.
Move it seat gypsie, I paid good money for those spots!!
Welcome to Wednesday, Gabbers. I totally didn’t watch the all star game. I normally do, but since my gramma is in town, as a flooding victim, we’ve been able to have some nice get togethers. IHM and his crew came by and we had a nice time. We also judged my bros hair to be way, way over the line. I can’t talk much though. If you’re my friend on Facebook you can see photos of me rocking some pretty long hair.
Well, with the game over, it’s time to look forward. Despite a lack of overall media coverage, the MLB is having itself a nice season. The other boot is about to fall in the BioGen fiasco. We’ve got Chris Davis vs. Miggy in the AL. You’ve got plenty of Cinderella teams and rising, young stars. Let’s check the big news, how my pre-season picks are looking.
AL East: Baltimore Orioles Leader at the Break: Boston
AL Central: Detroit Tigers Leader at the Break: Detroit
AL West: Texas Rangers Leader at the Break: Oakland
Wild Cards: Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay WC: Texas and Tampa
NL East: Atlanta Braves Leader at the Break: Atlanta
NL Central: Cincinnati Reds Leader at the Break: St. Louis
NL West: San Francisco Giants Leader at the Break: Arizona
Wild Cards: Washington Nationals and LA Dodgers WC: Pittsburgh and Cincinnati
Now we wait for the fun of the trade deadline. Personally, I’m wondering if the Tigers will look for a closer rather than close by committee. Bringing Valverde back didn’t work and didn’t go over well. Rondon and Benoit have done better than expected filling out the role. I’m not sure what’s still out there or who might be up for trade.
Meanwhile in Detroit sports news Armando Galarraga has found a new place to pitch. As you may not recall, Galarraga was on the verge of throwing a perfect game until umpire Jim Joyce made a pretty bad call on a play at first base. Before this game and all the attention that came with it, Galarraga was having a nice career. He broke in with Texas and the Tigers acquired him in 2008. He won 13 games with Detroit that year with a 3.73 ERA. He never had a year quite as good after that, but was considered a nice part of the Tigers rotation. After that blown call, however, Galarraga was traded to the Diamondbacks where he continued to struggle. Since then he’s bounced around as a free agent. As of Monday, he was traded by the Reds to the Rockies. Galarraga is now 31. I hope he gets at least one more shot in the majors. It’d be great to see him help the Rockies.
That’s all for me today. We are in the dog days until the MLB fires back up. Plus, I’ve still got moving to do. Thanks as always for stopping in. I leave you with your word of the week.
The act of being out in a social public setting (i.e. Restaurant, Cocktail Bar, Coffee shop) and only spending time on your mobile device; not the people with or around you.
"I would have loved to catch up with Sheila but she was nocializing the entire time we were at the bar!"
Happy Wednesday folks. We’re halfway through another week. I know summer is getting here because I finally put the AC in. I haven’t truly used it, but I have the option now. I generally hold off AC til we hit the 90s. We might’ve reached the 90’s twice so far. Otherwise I use a box fan and try to feel hardcore about it.
Last week kicked off the nomination process for the NFL’s Faces of the Franchise. People laid out their ideas for the following franchises:
Cleveland: Jim Brown*, Paul Brown, Bernie Kosar, Otto Graham (Beeze, *selected as favorite)
Dallas Cowboys: Roger Staubach (Jeffto2)
It really has to be Roger Staubach. Smith was great, but there was only one Captain Comeback...
Detroit Lions: Barry Sanders (AFD and Jeffto2)
Barry Sanders is truly a marvel. I watched a terrific video produced by NFL films on Sanders. A few things that I found interesting from the video...Curtis Martins says of Jim Brown...in his day, Brown was physically imposing. He was much bigger and faster than defenses. Martin wonders if Brown would have had the same success in today's game. Martin also said that Sander's talent would play well in any time of the game (I have to agree).
Troy Brown (Lanz)- He was no Superstar but he was the guy that made Belichick and the Patriot phillosphy come to life. A Wide Receiver who would come up with a big catch but also was a kicker returner and played Dback when asked to. Team first him second. He was the Patriot Way
Tom Brady (Hal Bent, oldharry, Sully)
Bill Belichick (Hal Bent, oldharry, Sully)
Robert Kraft (Hal Bent, Sully)
New York Giants: LT (ScottJax77)
San Francisco: Bill Walsh (BOB and Hal Bent)
San Francisco has to be Bill Walsh. Without him, the franchise doesn't turn around, Joe Montana doesn't become a great player, Jerry Rice is never drafted by the 49ers, and 20 years of success doesn't happen.
How does everyone feel about these pics? What about the other 26 franchises? There’s still a lot to be determined. Either way, I will have the post in the NFL section of YouGabSports.
In baseball news, Brian Cashman of the Yankees finally said what the majority of the baseball community has wanted to say for years: A-Rod needs to shut the fuck up. You figure this wouldn’t be hard, right? He’s got a healthy list of reasons why. 1) He’s been one of, if not the highest, paid player in the game since 2001. In that time, he’s won exactly one World Series title. 2) He’s been on the IR list more than the batting order lately. 3) His name has been linked to some sort of steroid related story a lot more often than anyone is comfortable with. If the recent story holds any truth, he’s looking at a very healthy suspension coming.
A-Rod, on the other hand, is only too happy to announce that his doctor has cleared him for rehab games. Cashman and the Yankees have placed a tentative return date of July 5, though it seems they are waiting for the dust to settle on the Miami issue. While I can see that A-Rod is anxious to get out there and prove his worth, especially following the latest roid rumors and his disastrous 2012 playoff run, the Yankees have a right to be cautious. While I don’t see any indication that the Yankees would have to forfeit any games if A-Rod plays and is declared to have used steroids, another steroid scandal would certainly not help the image of the Yankees winning at ANY cost.
Still, A-Rod has a history of trying to talk his way out of trouble or make public appearances to put himself back in everyone’s graces. The problem has been that these usually go wrong and make him look all the more smug and arrogant to sports fans. A-Rod needs to listen to Cashman: STFU.
That is it for me. This is the weekend of my family reunion on my mom’s side. IHM and I are heading to the Akron, OH area to meet cousins and have a picnic. It also means I got to make my dad a few CDs for the road. The nice thing about making the CDs is that it reminds me of some good ol’ music. I leave you with a nice song I’d forgotten about and your word of the week.
book hangover, noun
When you've finished a book and you suddenly return to the real world, but the real world feels incomplete or surreal because you're still living in the world of the book.
"I have a really bad book hangover today, I could hardly concentrate at work."
With the unofficial start of summer in the books and the 2013 season in full swing, I'm pleased to announce the completion of our Faces of the Franchises post. It's been some time in the making, but the comments were analyzed and the pics have been made. Check in at the following link to see our final list.
Disagree? You had a chance to argue, but feel free to leave a comment. We'll be back with our normal rants next week.
Welcome to March, Gabbers. It’s supposed to get warmer soon. We’re gonna hit 43 around these parts. Conference tourneys start this week. Those always have some great ball. The Big East tournament is usually legendary, but I have high hopes for the Big Ten this year. I’ve been able to catch the MSU-UofM games this year and they’ve been great. Last Sunday’s one point nail biter was one of the better games I’ve seen in a while.
Our old friends the talking heads seem upset by the apparent lack of favorites heading into this year’s tournament. I can’t remember a tournament where the projected winner made it through anyway. Honestly, the tournament is more about the journey and brackets than favorites. It’s just fun to watch everything shake out and even more fun to try and guess how it will shake out. Think about it, how many other times have you found yourself rooting for Stoney Brook? For my money the fact that this year has been so even makes brackets harder, but makes the tournament that much more exciting.
March is also bringing us the World Baseball Classic this year. The 16 team tournament is already underway, but surprisingly isn’t getting a lot of air play here in the US. ESPN is showing it on one of their associate channels, ESPN Deportes. The US starts play in pool D in Phoenix, AZ. They have a rough bracket as they’re matched up with pre-tourney winners Canada as well as Mexico and Italy. While a lot of big names have pulled out due to injury concern, the US roster features a lot of familiar names from the big leagues including Adam Jones, David Wright, Giancarlo Stanton, and Ryan Braun. The rotation for their first round includes R.A. Dickey (v. Mexico), Ryan Vogelsong (v. Italy), and Derek Holland (v. Canada). Our bullpen is strong with Craig Kimbrel highlighting a group that includes Chris Perez and Heath Bell.
Joe Torre is managing the squad for the US and also plans to use the tournament as a testing ground for improvements for the MLB. Officials from the MLB plan to visit the WBC games in Miami to explore factors that they believe could impact the expansion of instant replay like camera angles. As of now, replay is limited to determing fair/foul balls and trap v catch calls. Many in the game believe that the MLB is considering expanding the use of replay to plays at the plate and throws to the bases. Many believe these calls will be added next season, but won’t rule out the idea of such expansions starting after the all-star break this season.
The questions that still remain center on how the MLB would execute replay calls. Most seem to think the MLB will employ a system of manager challenges similar to what the NFL has in place. Another option would be to create a position for an independent replay umpire who would determine what calls to review. Cost certainly limits the idea of a replay official. The NHL has its system for reviewing goals in which a central office in Toronto reviews every goal to determine if the puck crossed the line and did so legally. Finally, the MLB would have to determine what calls are challengable. While most agree that balls and strikes would be left up to the umpire, there are several other instances that the league may have to consider.
Legally, the player and umpire unions have only agreed to replay options for fouls and catches. The MLB would have to gain the consent of both groups to be able to expand the replay system in any way. I have little doubt that both unions would agree to expand the system in principle. The difficulty would be in the means. How can the league bring in more cameras and stop time for a game many believe is long enough already? I am all for expanded replay, but have doubts about what it could do to the flow of the game. I think it takes away from some NFL games as it stands. The replay process is very new to sports and I only hope they can continue to refine it so it is less of an obstacle and more of a useful tool as was intended.
Arian Foster has come out to announce that he will be logging off of Twitter. Foster, who featured an eclectic feed that talked about the game as well as his appreciation for physics, declared that he was finished with the site Monday on Twitter. Much has been written here and elsewhere about the stupidity of athletes on Twitter. Will Fosters move trigger an exodus from the site by athletes? I hope so in some ways. I’ve yet to see an athlete get much more than bad publicity and outcry from the site. On the other hand, it does give everyone something to write about. Seeing more guys leave would have us focus a lot more on the actual sport. Wouldn’t that be something?
Well, that’s it for me this week. Thanks as always for stopping by. Thinking about the WBC, I don’t know if I should root for the US or Venezuela. Venezuela has 3 tigers and a stacked line-up on paper. Of course, the more time Miggy and co have to rest up, well, that may be favorable in my opinion. That in mind, I leave you with your word of the week.
When the Pope abdicates the the Chair (cathedra) of Peter before his natural death, the Emeritus Pope is said to be on permanent Vatication.
Vatication is like the ultimate staycation, since it is a vacation in the Vatican taken on a permanent basis by Emeritus Pope.
Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI starts his permanent Vatication on February 28, 2013, the day he abdicates the pontifical throne, doffs his signature red Prada loafers, and his papal ring is destroyed.