Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Man In White - You Play To Win The Game

If you ain’t Cheat’n you ain’t Try’n.

So now there is "Spy-Dome". Really? Really? Even if this is true I don’t see much of a story here. I understand that if you are on the field of play and you can intercept signs then more power to you. I suppose that there is another one of those unwritten rules in baseball that stealing signs is wrong, or is it? If you are smart enough or have the ability to steal another teams signs then that is an advantage you have. Just like having better players then the other team will give you an advantage. It does not mean you will necessarily win but it may give you an edge. Into the
alligations to the Blue Jays having a "Man in White" getting signals from another guy in center field and relaying them to the batter who has to focus on the pitcher who is going to throw a ball between 84 and 98 MPH and giving you a fraction of a second to react? Sound tough? Yeah, that is some kind of engineering, and that might just be giving Blue Jays batters too much credit to just how quick and/or smart they are. That is an awful lot to happen in a very condensed time period. Maybe there was someone doing what the "anonymous" bull pen sources from the unnamed team did. But maybe it was just a fan in the stands. Maybe it is no different then the 2 guys that sit in on home games at Rogers Centre with the umpire gear and mimic the actions of the home plate ump. Are they tipping balls a strikes to the pitcher? Stealing second or third base is stealing too, is that as bad?

J.P. Arencibia had a good line when asked about it and basically he said that if they had a method to steal signs and it was making a difference he wouldn’t be batting .200 right now. I say if you are going to use signs then it is on you to protect them. Catchers use a series when there is a man on second base. If they are that worried about stealing do that regardless of the situation.

If it happened cool, if not whatever, but chances are if they were cheating they should be a better team. if you are gong to cheat the least you can do is win.

Monday, August 08, 2011

The True Beautiful Game - BASEBALL

I love baseball. Some people call it slow and boring and I can see their point. If you just look at it superficially i can see your point. I, however love the game and I watch it as not only a fan but also a someone who played the game.

When I played, and admittedly not at a super high level but played and played hard. I tried to pride myself on the details. I played the game with competitiveness and for a true passion for the game. Regardless of the level of play, be it Fastball (or windmill) Hardball (traditional baseball) or just a Men’s League Lob Ball (that one is self explanatory). I loved to think the game on the field. As a defensive specialist and Short-Stop I played it as the captain of the infield. I would remember what players did during past at bats, tendencies from past games and align players in positioning and any shifts that needed to be made. It was also a point of emphasis to know where to be at various times during game play. No matter where the ball was hit there is always a place for each player to be. It may be backing up a base or rotating around to cover possible angled throws. I would try to put myself in those positions and also other players as well. There is nothing more annoying when you know you could have gotten an out if a player had they just been in the right position and had their head in the game. It is these nuances that make me appreciate the game both playing an watching. For those who do not have that level of appreciation for the game I can see how watching an entire game may become tedious. Granted a nice cold beer and a hot dog while sitting in the stands does enhance the live experience.

TV slots games to fall into a 3 hour window. Usually a typical game will run about 2 1/2 hours. Get a good pitchers duel or a game with a Roy Halladay type and you can shave nearly a half hour off of that. Those are the games that are fun to watch and are wrapped up into a tight little package. Those are the games that you wish would go longer because they have good pace and are compelling. The better the flow the better the show. It seems that for whatever reason a Red Sox vs Yankee’s game can not go less then 4 hours. It is just the way it is. When those two teams play it is like watching paint dry... but not, that is what makes it strange. The games are usually fun and entertaining and it may not feel like the game is dragging but it still seems to take a ling time to get a game in. Heaven forbid the game goes into extra innings like it did Sunday Night and ended near 12:30am in the East. Maybe it is two many trips to the mound, two many big name players stepping out every pitch so they can be on camera more or longer. Sure it is usually two of the best teams scrapping it out in a fight for first place in the division but that should mean the game should go quicker with the best players available.

I hope that it does not become a trend that baseball losses its young fan base based on games that take to long to be completed. Kids and now even grown ups are in an instant gratification cycle now and everything has to be fast. This ADD/ADHD mentality (TWITTER and TEXTING i am looking in your direction) could be harmful to this beautiful sport and the fate of this great pass time.

Friday, July 08, 2011

A Glance at the Big Four

It was great to see that even at age 39 my boy Chipper Jones was named to the MLB All Star Team. After coming off knee surgery last year and multiple injuries over the last few and couple with that talk of retirement it is good that he can add some more numbers to his Hall of Fame Career.

The NFL Lockout looks like thay might just get a deal done without missing any games. That would be a good thing for all parties. The fans don’t care who wins or who loses, just make sure that they are on the field in September.

The NBA also is in a lookout but their situation looks a lot more bleak. Even though it is still early there is little optimism that it will come to an end anytime in the foreseeable future. Not good for players who may not have overseas options like they may have thought and not good for the league which has had an image issue for years now. Even worse that after such a good playoffs this year that any good favour that was gained will go right down the drain.

The NHL may actually get a chance to gain back some market foothold if the NBA is out for any period of time. In the US and A the networks are going to have to fill airtime on radio and tv and if the NHL can start getting players and get some game discussion on these shows can only help grow the league. Jim Rome and Dan Patrick (who has NBC ties and guess who has NHL rights???) are both hockey guys and can talk the game if need be and be knowledgeable. It is just a matter of getting their listeners involved. This could be a very critical time in the acceptance of the game in the US.

MLB All Star game is next Tuesday. The game itself is the best of all the major sports because it lends itself to being played close to real game action. I still hate that it decides home field advantage in the World Series. If the game actually counts then: Not every team should be represented, fans should not get the ability to vote, Managers need to choose the most deserving players not just his own guys (see Tommy Hanson -vs- Tim Linsicum) and not every player should get to play or pitchers only going 1 inning. If the game is to mean something, play it and manage it like it does. If it is truly just for the fans that is fine but don’t put something on the line as important as home field.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Happy Canada Day!

Quick Hits for this Holiday Evening.

~Free agency in the NHL is interesting when the only teams able to go out and spend money are the ones that can't afford it and just need to get to the cap floor.
~I have 3 teams that are fav's to cheer for/follow and none did much of anything today. That is not a bad thing as some of the signings were a bit suspect. Just not as exciting from a fan point of view. A new day and a clear head may not be the worse thing for those GM's.
~NBA Locked out players today...Prediction: NCAA basketball ratings will go through the roof and the NCAA tournament will be bigger then ever. To bad after such a classic NBA Championship Finals that now there is nothing positive in the near future.
~NFL also Locked Out
~NHL over half the team losing money and nearly $300M spent by teams on players today alone...yeah that is a great economic model well worth the lockout that they had a few years back.

Monday, June 20, 2011


First off, lets not loose our heads here. As awesome and historic as Rory McIlroy's performance was at the US Open lets not have him chasing Tiger Woods or Nack Nicklaus down just yet. There have been some good performances by good young golfers in the past but few that have panned out into what we would call superstars who consistently do well in Majors or just on the PGA Tour.

Now what Rory did manage to do was unbelievable, especially how soon after his major collapse at Agusta in the Masters 4th round this was. For him to bounce back and not only play well, play consistent but also to go wire to wire for the victory gives us clear hope that maybe this kid can be one of those generational players that we can latch onto.

When he suffered such a disappointing round he did not hide, did not avoid the media, the questions nothing he owned it. He stood there and took everything that came at him like a man, no not even, took it like a PRO. This kid is 22 and there was questions on wether he would EVER be able to bounce back from such a devastating loss. Here we are just a few mere months removed from that event and he is holding the US Open trophy over his head....and it was never even close. He did it the hard way even. He went wire to wire and never shot above par once and all his rounds were in the 60’s. Granted he did not have a last round pairing with El Tiger but he stayed aggressive and ran away with the tournament.

Now we don’t want to get too far ahed of ourselves, lets let him win a second major before we put him up with the greats. Remember he has as many as Justin Rose does. The poise he showed all weekend and his behavior, his body language and his charm and his personality just seems to draw people to him. He is not a robot out there he seems to have fun but remain serious at the same time. Lets hope this is just the beginning for this young man as it could be a treat to watch him play for years to come

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mav's Take Their Tallents To South Beach

It is a sad state of affairs when the one event that looks to have gotten me to begin blogging again is the NBA Finals. The NBA, the same league that will likely be in a lockout next year and unless there are some big concessions could be in jeopardy of missing not only the season but the playoffs too.

If that happens it will be terrible, but we can at least take with us the memories of one of the best NBA Finals in recent memory. This bad boy had everything. A historic comeback, the "Big 3", the under-rated superstar, the oldest player since Kareem to win in the finals and a sick superstar who played his best game of the series with a 103 degree temperature. I hate to use this word but it was Epic.

I was happy for Dirk, I was happy for Jason Terry and Jason Kidd, heck I was happy for Dallas in general but I think I was most happy for Mav’s owner Mark Cuban.
Cuban is probably to most outspoken owner of any of the major sports. He is also likley one of the most fined owner for his actions and comments. Usually people hate billionaires, but people love Cuban. What made the Mav’s win was how he sidestepped the limelight and let the playes and coaches take all the credit. He even had the original owner of the Mav’s accept the Larry O’Brien Trophy from the commissioner. He was all class and so was his entire team.

RICK CARLISLE: - Did a masterful almost ‘zen-like’ coaching job in this series. Every time Miami made an adjustment he countered it with something even better

LEBRON JAMES - Seemed to do what he has been criticized in past playoff games with both the Cav’s and the Heat for mailing it in. People be hate’n LeBron for his actions in coming to Miami and his actions and comments leaving after the finals. His post game comments showed that he is still either very immature, a snob or just on a different planet and just doesn’t get it. He may be the best skilled player in the league but he is not close to being the best player at this point in time.

DWAYNE WADE- The Heat are his team but not even his skill could will this team to a championship. Injuries didn’t help matters either.
Dirk drinks lke a champ too!!

DIRK NOWITZKI- Soft? NOPE, can’t say that anymore. His ‘Jordan Like’ game with a 103 degree fever and injured finger couldn’t even slow him down. Mr. 4th Quarter came up at money time and delivered. He was a machine, A leader on the court, a beast. He was made in Germany and you know that the Germans make good things, you know what I am saying camera guy?? Hmmm, maybe Sham WOW should become the exclusive suppliers for those guys who mop the floors under the basket after a player falls and needs those big mops to clean up the sweat.

For not being overly engaged with basketball this past season, the finals may have rekindled my interest in the pro game. I always like the NCAA and the Madness but now the Pros are making a strong push forward.

Well this felt good to get my first blog in after a way too long time off. Looks like I may just be back on the horse and I hope that all the people who have followed me consistently in the past will continue to do so again. I now also have a Twitter Account so I may look into that for update of new content on the blog but there will be more on that once I figure out how best to utilize it. Thanks for coming back and come back soon for hopefully regular updates again.