Because sports should never run your life ... retorts for sports

MLB Update, Recap and Perspectives — July 27:

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MLB Update:

  • Red Sox continue to make a habit of showing up at the ball park with next to nothing on both sides of the ball. Wacha will serves notice he’ll be a formidable addition to the Met staff. #Mets #RedSox
  • Cubs hold off Reds, who have a number of players now confined to bed. #Cubs #Reds
  • Blowing a 4-run lead in the top of the 9th… unthinkable? No just the Pittsburgh Pirates, and their bullpen, which can’t seem to reach closure. More power by Moran is all for naught. #Brewers #Pirates
  • Lowly Marlins forced to did deeper into their very thin talent pool, as virus outbreak ravages its regular lineup. #Marlins
    MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, saying that the Marlins’ coronavirus outbreak in which at least 11 players and two coaches tested positive isn’t a “nightmare” scenario for the league, remains confident that the health protocols put in place are working.
Categories: MLB

MLB Update, Recap and Perspectives — July 26:

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MLB Update:

  • Buccos finally break out the big bats courtesy of Moran and Osuna, and stand-in pitcher Mitch turns into a Cardinal killer. #Prates #Cardinals
  • Suddenly pumped up O’s light up Boston’s Weber, and Wade LeBlanc survives a somewhat rocky 5-inning stint in giving Baltimore the series win. Not a good sign for a Red Sox team that seems to be lacking leadership. #Orioles #RedSox
  • New year/same result … Indians resume their regularly paddling of the weak sisters of the AL Central. #Royals #Indians
  • Not a good sign Philly, if your pitching is getting this kind of rude treatment from the mild hitting Marlins. #Marlins #Phillies
  • Twins choke the Chisox, with a full Nelson-headlock — a 4-5, 2 hr day for cruise-control Cruz — and Kenta Maeda makes quite an impressive AL debut. #Twins #WhiteSox

 

Categories: MLB

MLB Update, Recap and Perspectives — July 25:

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MLB Update, Recap and Perspectives:

  • Nats win game 2 of their spat with the cranky Yankees, who fail miserably to take advantage of some shoddy Washington fielding and the absence of star attraction Strasberg. Yankees #Nationals
  • G-men barely bring enough ammo to the Chavez Ravine party, and can now clap for Manager Kapler and his first managerial win. #Giants #Dodgers
  • O’s show up for this one, giving starter Martin, quite a smarting. And Alex Cobb made the most of his starting job. Now the entire AL East is tied for first (and last) place.
  • Too bad nobody seemed interested in talking softly, while carrying a big stick in today’s Brewers-Cubs shouting match. Milwaukee wins temporary bragging rights, in an empty shell of a stadium where sound carries a little too well. #Brewers #Cubs
  • Low scoring game … no problem for Lowe and the spray hitting Rays. #BlueJays #Rays
Categories: MLB

MLB Update, Recap and Perspectives — July 24:

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MLB Update, Recap and Perspectives:

  • Twins get maximum production out of leadoff man Max (2 homers), and double up the Chisox rather routinely. With Nelson Cruz and Josh Donaldson in the heart of the order, Minnesota’s look fit as a fiddle for a division title run. #Twins #WhiteSox
  • Now that Moustakas is happy to get outta bed as a Red, Cincy’s got a new winning attitude. To make matters even better, it was a big day for Sonny Gray. #Reds #Tigers
  • Mad Bum looks kind of bummed to be a D-back; gets whacked by an eruption of doubles from Hosmer. #Diamondbacks #Padres
  • Crooked Astros prove they are plenty capable, with or without trash cans. #Mariners #Astros
  • Some things never change; Cards race to a lead, then tease the tortured Pirates by giving up two in the ninth, before holding on like we knew they would. #Pirates #Cardinals
  • Mets get their usual sparkling start from deGrom, and as a nice bonus, some home run power from Yoenis. #Braves #Mets
  • What could be more of a soft landing than a home/season opener against the hopeless O’s? Red Sox feast on Baltimore’s batting practice pitching, and it appears that the evolution of Eovaldi has taken a turn for the better. #Orioles #RedSox
Categories: MLB

MLB Update, Recap and Perspectives — July 23, 2020 (Opening Day):

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MLB Update, Recap and Perspectives — Opening Day:

  • Fake crowd noise, fake drama, and, most appropriately, a truncated 6 inning affair start off this “sprint” to the finish. With that said, Cole’s heavy fastball lived up to its advance billing, and Stanton stands out as the difference maker. And Nat bats look pretty tepid, with Rendon gone West to land of the Halos. #Yankees #Nationals
Categories: MLB

MLB Perspectives — A new twist … on old news… the HoF qualifications of Carlos Beltran:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/sports/mets-fire-manager-carlos-beltran-wake-astros-sign-stealing-scandal-n1116271

 

 

Carlos Beltran belted over 400 homers, pounded out over 2700 hits, had nearly 1600 rbi, pounded out over 560 doubles, had a pretty strong .279 average over a very productive 20 years career, and to top things off stole over 300 bases.  With these numbers, along with a WAR of about 70, a Rookie of the Year award, 7x All-star and 1x World Series Champion, and 3 gold gloves, you’d almost certainly be a shoe in for the Hall of Fame.

But have his prospects been substantially damaged by his role in stealing sighs with the 2017 Astros. The lurid details aside, can we really cast 20 years of excellence to the wind, when sign stealing itself has been going on throughout the history of the game. Perhaps Beltran will issue a more formal apology and come clean publicly about what his involvement really amounted to.  It would be a shame to put his election in a state of suspended animation, … as has been done with the steroid contingent.   Yes he broke a rule, but let’s also remember this activity was in fact condoned, encouraged and coordinated by bench coach Cora… among other higher-ups.

Categories: MLB

MLB Perspectives — Observations on the state of play in the battle for a baseball Hall pass:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/hof_2020.shtml

Derek Jeter — 99.7%/oh what his autographed gift baskets must be worth now
Larry Walker — 76%+/tightrope Walker barely gets in, while fellow Rocky Mountain Man Helton languishes in 30 something hell.
Curt Schilling — 70% … wow it looks like people are starting to finally look at this guy’s stellar stats, including 11-2 in the post season and the unforgettable bloody sock … he may be in like flint next year if he can only keep his pie hole closed
Clemens/Bonds are palling around at 61% — looks like there is some solid support, but both of these guys aren’t getting any younger (anybody got something in that medicine bag to kick start their flagging campaigns)
Vizquel — now over 50% and climbing… it is just a matter of time
Rolen — are you kidding 35% voted for him (barely 2000 hits and a .280 or so avg?) / what?
Wagner — 31.7% reflects a probable high point, but the power painter who was known for falling down on the mound
Sheffield — in his sixth year of eligibility, getting barely over 30% .. with 2600+ hits, 500 + homers and a .292 avg, this guy needs to hire a decent PR person to make a pretty straightforward case
Ramirez — is Manny even aware he’s being shorted something awful at 28% … needs to get off his many cell phones and pay attention to getting his lobbying effort off the ground

Categories: MLB

MLB Perspectives — Maury Wills

Maury Wills willed his way into the Majors, after a long, torturous tenure in the minors, and once there, stole nearly 600 bases, amassed almost 2200 hits, a very respectable .281 average and over 1,000 runs. He was an all-star for 1/2 of his 14 year career, and was an instrumental part of the Dodger machine that won 3 world series titles in 7 years. His significance is perhaps best indicated by his winning an MVP in 1962 (hitting only 6 homers) and finishing in the Top 25 of the award voting 8 times.

Wills is no longer up for induction into the Hall of Fame through regular voting (he maxed out at only 40%), but there’s hope the Veteran’s Committee takes a second, harder look. He was a magical force, who changed defenses and caused more anxiety and disruption on the base paths than anyone in his era (breaking the longstanding mark of Ty Cobb for stolen bases in a single season). Based on the resumes of other shortstops/infielders, Maury’s total package should be on display at Cooperstown.

Categories: MLB

NBA MVP Likely Done Deal, Regardless of Season Close in Orlando:

NBA MVP Likely Done Deal, Regardless of Season Close in Orlando:

Lots of buzz about the anticipated end of season and playoffs starting this August in Orlando.
But let’s be clear: When it comes to picking this year’s MVP, it’s almost certainly a foregone conclusion that the league’s highest individual honor goes to high flying Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was a -950 betting favorite to win as of June 10, as detailed at www.sportsbettingdime.com/nba/mvp-award-odds/

With the race for this award currently such a blowout (2nd place LeBron checks in as a heavy underdog at +450), nothing that might happen in the season-ending playoffs should change this dynamic, short of a spectacular first or second round Bucks flame out, combined with another championship crown for King James.

A quick check of history provides rock solid confirmation on this point. Over the past 20 years,only four players have been able to pull off both an MVP and an NBA title, including LBJ (2011-2012 and 2012-13), Steph Curry (2014-2015, 2015-2016), Tim Duncan (2002-2003) and Shaq (1999-2000).

This being the case, let’s get very ready to congratulate GA on another job well done and 2nd MVP in succession. At nearly 30 points, 14 boards and 6 assists per game for the squad with the NBA’s best record … yeah he’s earned it.

 

 

 

Categories: NBA

Starting To Dine Out Again … at the Grindz…

 

 

Only too happy to recently stick my toe in the water as Summer approaches with a welcome visit to the delicious Hawaiian food bistro, The Grindz.

Today, I enjoyed an old favorite, the very saucy and tasty Barb Chicken Plate.  All the usual hedonist helpers were there, including juicy grilled chicken,

fluffy white rice, seductive Hawaiian slaw, and the always pleasing potato salad.

Check it out at Hermosa Pavilion in Hermosa Beach!

 

On the “Don’t Let Your National Guard Down” CDST Show (Part 2):

On the “Don’t Let Your National Guard Down” CDST Show (Part 2):

— “Keep remembering you just have to make it outta here … and the rest of your life is gravy” … if only life was as simple as explained by King in Platoon.
— “And she said, let’s do it… the room’s already paid for”
— Ned Beatty just keeps showing up in the weirdest places … first the evil sheriff in Gator, then Bobby, who squealed like a pig in Deliverance, then the playfully corrupt Dean Martin in Back to School.
— Remembering the rise of my Celtic green Pontiac Phoenix … “it looks like a Chevy Citation, with some sizzle”
— Brian had a 1975 Toyota Corolla to roll in (2k was all it took)
— Eric’s Cougar XR7 was apparently the start of it all … the exacting detail in which it was described made it sound a bit like a powerful handgun
— Now if you want to really go in style, try the Firebird
— Football fans don’t go both ways… you’re either AFC or NFC, but not both
— Pouring acid in Keller’s wounds with a replay of the huge hack by Hendu … yeah baby, celebrate your heart out going down that first base line … a sparkling commentary with the cracklin voice of Al Michaels
— We go over the dynamics of that very dramatic ALCS, in wonderfully excruciating detail
— What could be better than to be endowed with a new drug from Huey (one that won’t make me sick… one that won’t make me crash my car, or make me feel three feet thick)
— How about a new drug that does what it should? One that doesn’t make me feel to bad, or too good. Is that drug what we now call Viagra?
— Pitchers in that series included Doug Corbett, the Candyman, Bruce Hurst, Clemens … but no Well-read, there was no Buehler. We had to wait a few years before the Dodgers got one of those.
— Yes, the Candyman can.. in terms of winning World Series games.. just ask the Pirates… even if he did look like a cartoon character
— As for Ferris, he’s sick, “my best friend’s boyfriend’s sister’s cousin saw him pass out at 31 Flavors
— Will Danny White not go into the Hall of Fame as either a punter or a QB or both? We ponder the issue?
— As for Blanda, he went in as both?
— “Give the bag to bozo….” … you would think those were pretty easy instructions to follow… but not for the stupidest person on the face of the earth.
— Sam Stone’s special honey-do, ransom condition list caused him to drool with pleasure, because he understood the upside so perfectly
— Trying to understand why the Leafs, not the Habs, is the team most resented by the other Canadian franchises; let’s face it, Toronto’s had the most professional sports success of any city North of the Border
— Getting a performance car in the 1980s, was like getting a hall pass to leave your house in the 2020s
— Had to bring up my childhood memory of neighbor Teddy James’ black trans am … with the fire chicken on the hood
— Yes, the Harlem Shuffle even makes me want to dance … or talk to Frank about Tim Tuffle
— We finish with a trip to Venus … using the original mode of transportation

On the “Don’t Let Your National Guard Down” CDST Show (Part 1):

On the The Don’t Let Your National Guard Down CDST Show (Pt. 1):
— Heavy artillery to the rescue of business owners and our great cities … send in the guard
— Looting is not a victimless crime, and CA laws only encourage it
— The various considerations to be taken account in presenting charges
— More details about the facts and circumstances surrounding the George Floyd killing
— Give me Liberty Chan or give me no weather reports
— No hair cuts on the virus-laden horizon for our favorite Jersey boy
— HEY EVERYBODY, LET’S GET METSMERIZED!!!! We get down in Met town with The Straw, Nails, Doctor K, Ray I’d rather fight Knight, and Rafael “Baseball been berry berry good to me” Santana….
— Frankie Midnight takes us through the four big fracases during their last championship year, including the game with the Pirates marked by Rick Rhoden’s scuffing, Mitchell choking the insolent Khalifa, and the ensuing mayhem.
— Poor Niedenfuer needed a heads up that bean balls don’t ward off long balls.
— We get the inside scoop on the wild ride of the victors after their conquest of Houston in the NLCS ($35k of damage sustained by the plane in 1986 dollars) (sorry Eric, no itemization)
— Why is Bill Robinson’s name continually coming up?
— I think “relief” specialist and ex-Met Calvin Schiraldi is still giving up round trippers blowing save opportunities
— The legend of Paul DiPodesta, not JP Retardi (how good does “Strategy Officer” for the Brownies sound)
— Oh no, we have to watch a game … and put on your clam diggers to use the flooding urinals … at the O.Co. On to Vegas? Probably not, and the A’s don’t know the way to San Jose.
— Dialing back time to relive Da Bears’ huge Super Bowl demolition of the Patriots, who just weeks earlier had mercilessly squished the Fish.
— The 46-year old Golden Bear comes roaring back to win his last major at the Masters
— Celtics use a very pass-happy attack to break down the Rockets for the NBA title. Were they employing the 3-men-must-touch rule?
— The NBA Hall of Fame … if you’re famous, then you’re probably in.

On the We Made It To Extra Time CDST Show (Part 2):

On the We Made It To Extra Time CDST Show (Part 2):
— Pele and Rambo on the same team…? The Germans didn’t stand a chance.
— After our intermission, we’re joined by Jonathan Tannenwald of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
— Pro soccer is televised all over the cable networks,… but is it really readily accessible? Who’s really pushing it out to the mass audience, in an effective, targeted way?
— Why soccer’s minor leagues are more like basketball’s developmental leagues and less like MLB’s AAA, AA and A affiliates
— Individual teams may be in trouble, even though the leagues are fundamentally fiscally sound
— Well-read gives us a crash course on delegation and it’s evil happy cousin, promotion
— Salary caps to the rescue? Good look navigating through the labor law prohibitions, not to mention getting European consensus
— The huge impact that Title IX has had on the increasing relevance of US women’s college sports
— And perhaps a bigger sign of the times is the direct pipeline of women pro players coming right from high school
— Lest we not forget, the bigger revenue generator for the US Soccer Federation is the women, not the men
— Will we have soccer back in the US by Summer’s end? It may well turn on whether there’s enough tests.
— Check out Jonathan’s great work at inquirer.com/soccer
— Tank paid the price for OD’ing on Korean baseball the night before.. but manages to roll in for the last 1/4 of the show
— Frank becomes the most bad ass Caucasian rapper with a cause since Eminem, admonishing that Biden will be a short termer… to be succeeded by his VIP… and we had better prepare for reparations
— Harkening back to hand-held chariots of fire…
— Who said “There’s no spitting in baseball?” The Korean league… that’s who.
— We can definitely see some OSHA complaints coming out of the dugouts, … “Hey, I don’t feel safe here.. he spit right next to me.”
— One-use balls requirements?….”ooh noo…. I can’t touch that baseball… it’s got germs on it”
— Detailing how spitballs were once more prevalent on the diamond than in the classroom.
— How messy Mays raised our collective consciousness that wet ones were a safety hazard, when he beaned and killed Ray Chapman. And Black Mike also narrowed missed meeting a similar, tragic end.
— D-day for the virus? When Biden wins on that first Tuesday in November…
— We put the pure power play question to the warehouse of sports knowledge… and Fleming fleshes out the major needle in the haystack … Kong Kingman
— Mac McGwire checks in as the winner, with an astounding 87% ratio of rbi to hits
— Don’t impugn the pop in the bat of Buhner, who came in at No. 8, or the fury of stormin Gorman “Hell’s Kitchen” Thomas, who hangs out at No. 10.
— AND WE ARE TEMPTED TO GET READY FOR A PHASED RE-OPENING… EVERYWHERE!!!!

MLB Memories (Friday, May 15, 2020):

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/simmoal01.shtml

Maybe we’ll get lucky and come out of this Corona coma swinging better and harder than Al Simmons? Not likely. Nothing was hotter than the Bucketfooter smack dab in the middle of The Great Depression. 5 straight 200 + hit seasons and consistently over .350 in batting average from 1929 to 1933. Nearly 3000 hits and 550 doubles. And over 300 homers with relatively few strikeouts.

Simmons had a strut .. and well he should. He had it all, and terrorized even the Yankees, whom he resented for trying to rough him up. His A’s returned the favor, winning 2 in a row (1929-30) even as Ruth was in his heyday.  In Philadelphia, he played with true immortals, such as Chief Bender, Lefty Grove, Max Bishop, and Jimmie (The “Beast”) Foxx.

He may looked funny at the plate. But he made up for it with his extra long bat and his penchant for moving his dangling left foot closer to the plate and became a master at handling the outside pitches. He could pull with the best of them, and in the field he was a fierce defensive outfielder. Indeed, he was one of baseball’s greatest monsters, in an era of many monsters.

Categories: MLB

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