Sunday, July 26, 2015


At the beginning of the season, the experts would make predictions about teams, pennant races and individual players. Usually very interesting and, of course, subject for debate. It doesn't bother me when people make predictions that I don't agree with. What does bother me is that later on they treat their prognostications as though they were gospel.

At the start of the season, everyone had questions about the Yankees, mostly revolving around their health. Can some of their older players play up to the back of their baseball cards, i.e., their histories. Will A-Rod be any kind of player after basically two years off? Will Mark Teixeira be able to rebound after wrist surgery? Does Carlos Beltran have anything left? And there were all the questions about the starters recovering from various elbow, shoulder and knee surgeries?

Good questions all, but that's what they were, just questions, because no one doubted that these players were talented. Now these questions have been answered positively since the Yankees have taken command of the AL East and boast the 2nd best record in the American League. So why are all these experts surprised that the Yanks all performed so well? None of them said these  players WILL NOT be able to play well, that they WON'T stay healthy. So why are they surprised? They agreed that this was certainly a viable scenario. Granted, it is unusual that all of them have risen to the occasion, and perhaps no one, not even A-Rod, thought he would do this well. So lets just accept that New York is the most complete team in the AL East and not treat it as though it was some kind of magic trick.

On the other hand, every one thought that Boston was the cream of the crop and even though they had no reliable starting pitchers, a shortstop playing an unfamiliar position, and a team top heavy with outfielders and no proven catcher. Now that the Red Sox have shown that all their unspoken (By the experts) weaknesses are real, why don't they treat that as a surprise?

The Baseball Hall of Fame
I mentioned this briefly a couple of days ago, but let me elaborate.
Craig Biggio - A somewhat unheralded all-star with definite HOF credentials. 
John Smoltz -  Amazing that he proved his worth in two totally different areas of pitching - starting and relieving. The only other pitcher who handled that change in the Hall was Dennis Eckersley.
Randy Johnson - Total domination that calls to mind  Sandy Koufax, whose numbers didn't really justify his election (165 wins). Johnson ended up with 303 wins. But the domination in talent was evident in both.
Pedro Martinez - Domination, but through intimidation. Pedro would throw at (and hit) anyone, especially anyone who looked like they might beat him. Talented, yes, but it was the fear factor which contributed greatly to his success. Case in point: "In 2001, Martinez said of the Curse of the Bambino: “I don’t believe in curses. Wake up the damn Bambino and I’ll face him. Maybe I’ll drill him in the ass."

It's starts at the lowest levels
You may remember a few years ago when a pre-teen named Jerry Altemonte threw a perfect game and a couple of shutouts during the Little League World Series tournament. The age limit for Little League is 12 or younger. A few months after the series, Altemonte was discovered to actually be 14 at the time.  Cheating at the lowest level. In a recent interview, Altemonte blamed the whole thing on his father and his coach. Altemonte also mentioned how much he loved baseball and listed as his favorite players, Albert Pujols, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa. Interestingly, two of them are among the biggest "alleged" cheaters in the sport.

"In the IFAF American football semifinals, the U.S. defeated France 82-0. However, the game tightened in the second half after France’s center began facing the right direction during snaps."  -- Brad Dickson
"Not that Rocky Balboa is showing his age or anything in “Creed” — the seventh installment in the “Rocky” movie series — but the eye of the Tiger now has cataracts."  -- Dwight Perry
"The LA Dodgers have apparently told Yasiel Puig that he will not be traded. Maybe because at this point no other team wants the headaches?"  -- Janice Hough

"Toronto has hired long-time Devils GM Lou Lamoreillo. Who but the Leafs would add a 73-year-old as part of their youth movement?"  -- RJ Currie
" Rob Gronkowski said that he’s read about 80 percent of his autobiography, “It’s Good To Be Gronk.” He’s the first best-selling author to ever utter, “Don’t tell me how it ends,” at his own book signing."  -- Brad Dickson
"Yes, Paul O’Neill talks too much on Yankees telecasts; he drives many viewers crazy. But that could be fixed if only someone at YES could convince him that viewers tune in primarily to watch the game."  -- Phil Mushnick
"Dan Patrick, Bill Simmons, Keith Olbermann and now Colin Cowherd. Will the last star to leave ESPN please turn out the light?"  -- Greg Cote
"Jason Pierre Paul of the New York Giants won’t sign a contract offer right now as he is learning to write with his other hand."  -- TC Chong


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