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Hawkeegn's Thoughts
Category: MLB
Tags: World Baseball Classic

World Baseball Classic

Okay so some folk this is a bad idea or dumb. So be it. I think it's cool. Then again, it's hard to get too excited about it when most of your own country's players are skipping it. Other countries sent a lot of their best players (Japan especially). Imagine a team that had Prince Fielder, Buster Posey, Matt Cain, and Bryce Harper? Well yeah they'll likely be part of the National league All-Star team this season. But none of them are playing for Team USA.

Yes they won today to advance to the second round. And they might advance to the semifinals. I'm not counting on it. As long as you have Cuba (always a power even if many past WBC Cuban players defected and now are in the majors) and Japan, you could easily put those two teams in the final. Although this time, the Netherlands & Italy (!) have beaten teams no one thought they would and are clearly the upstarts. You always have to like the underdog.

As for Team USA, they really need to find a way to encourage the superstars that it's really okay for them to play for the US team, that the chance of injury is small (unless you happen to be Mark Texiera) and with you there, they might actually win in the semifinal round! And if they did that, more American fans might actually pay attention. And since the WBC is Major League Baseball's idea, wouldn't it make sense to attract as many American fans as they could? Just a thought.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. See ya next time.

Hawkeegn

Hawkeegn's Thoughts
Category: NFL

Manti Teobowing

Yep I'm back. I wasn't sure I had the okay to continue but what the heck I'll try to keep this short. And gosh since I posted my comments about Alex Smith, I discover there's been some hubbub about him. Rumor has it a deal to trade Smith is just about "complete." But nothing can be finalized until March 12. Whether or not this is all talk, it makes me wonder if someone at the 49ers is actually reading this blog. The chances of that of course are roughly equivalent to Tim Tebow playing in the NFL as a running back. Or even playing in the NFL next season.

Which bring me to the title. Yeah I'm combining Manti Teo (sp?) with Tim Tebow. I thought it a clever pun. Good thing my wife is sleeping because if she saw this title, she'd roll her eyes and groan like she usually does when I tell one of my bad puns. So no this post is NOT about Tim Tebow. It is about Manti Teo who because he's at the combine might have to endure a lot of equally bad puns and jokes about his phony girlfriend. And I got to thinking recently that he shouldn't be too embarrassed about what happened to him.

He of course met "Lenay" on an online chat channel. As a "veteran" of those things, I can say that some guys can easily pretend to be women. There are lots of lonely guys there (not that Manti is lonely) and anyone using a female nick and a decent grasp of spelling, grammar and complete sentences can fool a guy. In fact, back in my chat channel days I acquired quite a few online women friends who years later admitted to me they had a crush on me because "I could type a complete sentence." And no I'm not making that up. Many men online clearly forgot how to spell or type. They think that by shortening words ("are you" becomes r u & no I don;'t know what a ru is) makes them cool. No dummy it makes you look stupid or lazy. Online chat channels can be really interesting, to say the least. And to say the most, it's easy to hide things. Like what gender you really are.

So the guy pretending to be Lenay found a picture of a woman he knew and pretended to be her. He probably had a good command of spelling, grammar, appeared reasonably intelligent and sympathetic. Since I'm not privy to the chats "Lenay" and Manti had, I have no idea what they talked about. And the guy pretending to be Lenay probably realized eventually Manti would realize "she" was a fake, so he had her die of leukemia. Really mean to say the least, but I recall someone I casually knew on line who claimed to be female who then suddenly died of a heart attack. I later found out "she" was a he who was in danger of being "unmaked" so to speak so "she" suddenly died. Go figure.

It's safe to say Manti is not going to go near any chat channels anytime soon. Or ever. In the meantime, at least two minor league baseball teams will have "Manti Teo" nights this season. Probably many more. Hopefully Manti will continue to be a good sport about the unwanted attention It appears he has a chance of being a NFL caliber player. Not an easy thing to accomplish. So many great college players are total busts in the NFL. I seriously wish him well and hope he outlasts all the jokes and has a great NFL career.

I still want to attend the Frontier League Florence Freedom's game where they will be giving out Lenay Kakua bobbleheads. Actually they'll give out boxes with nothing in them. I bet they sell out that game.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. See ya next time.

Hawkeegn's Thoughts
Category: NFL

The Jim and Alex Show

I've been a fan of the San Francisco 49ers for decades now. I moved to the SF Bay Area in 1981, just in
time to see them rise from a perennial non-contender into a Super Bowl champion team. One of things I
used to enjoy about those great teams of the 80s was Bill Walsh's weekly jousts with the media. It seemed
to be a game he loved to play. he also knew when to be complimentary and when to defuse a potential
media fire storm. It seems that Jim Harbaugh, the current 49ers coach and like Walsh a former Stanford head guy studied how Walsh dealt with the media. While Jim doesn't always spar with the media the way Walsh did, he knows what to say and what not to say.

Let's go back to the middle of last season. Alex Smith, the 49ers starter was having his best season ever. You'd see his backup Colin Kaepernick come in occasionally when the 49ers wanted to run an option play but
that was it. And then came Smith's concussion and we never saw Smith play again (except for a few downs against Arizona in the last regular season game). This could have started a fire storm too except Harbaugh effectively knocked it down by saying "we have the opposite of a quarterback controversy. Is that a protoversy then? Hmmm. Well I digress as I sometimes do.

Kaepernick went on to play the rest of the season (did very well too) and led the 49ers to their first Super Bowl appearance in 18 years. Quite the runner as well as passer. I was at the playoff game versus Green Bay and his fabulous running made us all forget the pick six he threw early in that game. To quote that old Timbuk3 song, his future's so bright, he's gotta wear shades." Meanwhile Smith cooled his heels on the bench. And give Smith a lot of credit for not openly complaining about the situation. He could have whined and sulked but instead he simply said, what happened sucked and that was that.

Speaking of which, Smith is quite the expensive backup now. He of course is owed 7.5 million by the 49ers if he' still on their roster on April 1. Oh man if they don't get rid of him by then, think of all the April Fool's jokes that will start up. Jim Harbaugh was quoted yesterday as saying they "have the best QB situation in the league" (hmm that's what Seattle is saying too) and they have no plans to get rid of Smith.

Uh huh. OK Jim whatever you say. You want us to believe you're not going to unload Smith, fine. Harbaugh has his way of playing the media just like Walsh did. Cool and it is fun to watch. While I have no way of verifying this (I'm just an armchair blogger, folks), I suspect there's a deal brewing somewhere. Kansas City would be the obvious choice since they NEED a QB and the QB's in the draft this year don't exactly make you jump up and down for joy. Hey they may turn out to be good starters but it seems iffy at best. Then again, the last time I saw a QB drafted in the first round do well immediately was Dan Marino. In fact, that's the ONLY time I've seen a rookie QB excel in his first season.

Any team with a dire need at QB is probably thinking, "hey Smith might be a good fit for us. Let's see what we can offer the Niners." Although I would imagine Arizona is not in the mix. Why would you trade your former starter to a team you have to face twice a year? The previous regimes (Hi Mike Singletary and Mike Nolan!) might do that but not Harbaugh. Say what you will about Jim Harbaugh (and people seem to say he's not a nice person), but he's a winner and he's getting paid to win. End of story.

Speculation of where Alex is going to wind up is fun and is the perfect way to spend a rainy day. Except it's clear and sunny here in SF today. Think I'll go back out to pruning the fruit tree in the yard. It's beginning to look a little like Jim Harbaugh.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it. See ya next time.

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