Thursday, April 09, 2015


The games are for real now and all the posturing is over. It's time to go out and show your stuff. Players are striving to prove to everyone that they can win while sportswriters have started to prepare the reasons why their predictions failed. That last thing is the funniest. these word pundits know all the excuses:
# "If it wasn't for the injuries..."
# "The players failed to perform up to their capabilities"
# "So & so got old"
Once, I'd like to hear, "I guess I don't know what I'm talking about."

Obviously, there isn't enough to go on yet, but if you watch closely enough, you can see some indication of problems. I follow the Yanks and this is what I see.

The pitching is going to be good, but the hitting...not so much. In two games, the Yanks have produced 10 hits and 5 runs to get them to a 1-1 record. They didn't do anything in the first game, a Brett Gardner homer notwithstanding. The second game, however, broke out with 7 hits and 4 runs. Okay, it was just enough to win, but look at how those runs scored. One on a sac fly, one on a wild pitch, one on a hits batsman and the last on a bouncer back to the mound that the pitcher knocked out of the reach of the shortstop. Vaunted offense, indeed. Some balls were hit pretty hard but resulted in nothing because of a heavy wind and some fleet fielders.
The NY defense was expected to be much better and that's been a disappointment, too. Guys will make errors, but I'm unhappy with the play of Chase Headly, who hasn't looked like a Gold Glove candidate yet.
As Girardi keeps saying, "Let's see how it goes."

In the last post (which seems like a long time ago), I wrote about dunking in basketball. A nice alley-oop play  is always impressive, but the rest doesn't do much for me. I can't think of any solutions other than raising the basket, but that's much too outrageous. But, the Sportscurmedgeon has some really good suggestions. Here's his take on the subject:
" 1) Devalue the dunk. Make a dunk worth only 1 point.
  2) Any player grasping the rim for any reason gets an automatic technical foul.
Players do not learn fundamentals the way they used to for whatever reasons exist in the high school and AAU levels of the sport. Players need to learn a broader spectrum of offensive skills than dunking and “alley-ooping”. If/when they do, scoring will increase and by Geno Auriemma’s definition the game will be lots more fun to watch."
I think I like this guy. Can we add one more? 3) Any ESPN anchor who includes a dunk in the Top Ten Plays, is automatically suspended for two days.
Now I'm happy.

" It is reported that Justin Bieber will walk out with Floyd Mayweather Jr. at the May 2 fight. If Manny Pacquiao is allowed to punch Bieber before the bell, I can guarantee a pay-per-view sales record."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Philadelphia Phillies are trotting out some gut-busting ballpark food of their own. The Wayback Burgers Triple Triple features nine patties, nine slices of cheese and 2,200 calories — all within one bun. The Milwaukee Brewers, not to be outdone, are reportedly concocting the Kaminsky Dog. It’s a 7-foot frank."  -- Dwight Perry
"Apr 1 marked the day that temporary foreign workers have to apply for permanent residence or leave Canada. This is different from the US where people from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela can stay as long as they want, as long as they bat over .200, or have a descent ERA."  -- TC Chong
"Arnold Schwarzenegger, the ex-Mr. Universe and former California governor, got stopped by police in Australia for riding a bike without a helmet. If he got a concussion, how would you know?”  -- Seth Meyers
"Sure-fire sign that your team’s star pitcher arrived at spring training grossly overweight: He just underwent Papa John surgery."  -- Dwight Perry
"The sport of curling is being impacted by “dwindling attendance,” which I believe is 100 percent due to, uh, well, curling."  -- Brad Dickson
"New York Knicks owner James Dolan just said in an interview “You got to believe, baby! I believe, I believe!” And even Cubs fans are saying “Are you bleeping nuts?"  -- Janice Hough
"The NFL handed Cleveland GM Ray Farmer a four-game suspension for sending texts to sideline personnel during games. Banned from watching the Browns play? You call that punishment?"  -- Dwight Perry
" Twins pitcher Ervin Santana receiver an 80-game PED suspension. Teammates suspected something at spring training: It was his 95 mph changeup"  -- Alan Ray
"Kentucky coach John Calipari says he expects “five to seven players” to declare for the NBA draft.  It’s a scary choice for these young men. But since returnees must be academically eligible, they’ll have to figure out how to find the classrooms."  -- Janice Hough
"Happy 87th birthday Gordie Howe, who is reportedly doing well just four months after a nearly fatal stroke. To celebrate, he threw an elbow at his neurologist."  -- RJ Currie


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