Thursday, April 14, 2016


It's now about eight games into the season and all the people with spring training pipe dreams have to deal with reality. For the most part, that is. There are always a few surprises out there.
The Baltimore Orioles started the season 7-0 and lost their first game last night to a mediocre Boston Red Sox team. Sure, it's early yet, and teams sometimes don't come out of the gate according to plan. With their weak pitching and their all-or-nothing offense, I can't see the Orioles contending in September. The Sox pitching is also suspect in spite of  the acquisition of David Price, who got hammered the last time out, by the way.
The big news in Boston revolves around Pablo Sandoval, who was just put on the DL because of some kind of shoulder problem. He hasn't been hitting, has forgotten how to play defense and can't run worth a lick. A triple threat. There is even some talk that this shoulder injury may be bogus and putting him on the DL is a way to get him off the roster for a while. That's another $95 million well spent. There's a rumor that the Sox may trade him to San Diego for James Shields  to bolster their pitching. Why in the world would the Padres want Pablo? Is there a glut of pizza and fried chicken that needs to be reduced?

The Yankees, in the meantime, look like potential pennant winners - or weak sisters, depending on which game you watch. The starting pitching hasn't looked overpowering but the bullpen has been outstanding - except for Ivan Nova's performance last night. Ellsbury looks great again, Castro & Gregorious make a fine double play combination and Headley's throws no longer strike fear in the hearts of fans back of first base. A-Rod's a mystery. Sometimes he looks lost and some days he's hitting line drives all over the park. He has hit into some bad luck, though. I get the feeling that the Yanks are getting ready to shop Gardner. They would use Hicks as the everyday left fielder and bring up one of the young kids from Scranton to be the fourth outfielder. We'll see.

The AL West looks weak with only one team over .500 - the Angels. KC is still a strong team in the AL Central. In the NL, Washington is 6-1, while the Mets, who were supposed to contend are 3-5 and are averaging only 2.5 runs per game. The Cubbies are making Chicago a happy place to be at 7-1. San Fran and the Dodgers will continue to beat each other up in the NL West.

It's really too early to assume that things will continue as they are because baseball always surprises.

Other sports:
Tonight is Kobe Bryant's last game as a professional basketball player after a 20-year career. Don't expect him to pass any torch. Kobe never passes anything.
The NFL draft is two weeks away. This has become a huge event and probably has ESPN executives trembling with excitement. This will have more coverage than the presidential race. (sorry Donald)

The Masters golf tournament just ended and I'm sorry to say that I didn't get a chance to sleep in front of any of those broadcasts. I did hear about Jordan Speith's collapse in the last round. Since he was last year's winner, he had to present the green jacket to this year's champion, Danny Willett. That had to be the toughest job Speith ever had to do.

I finally got my PC back for which I thank my personal computer guru, #1 son Matt.

"Sportsnet president Scott Moore said he roots with his heart for the Habs and with his wallet for all Canadian NHL clubs. So he won’t have a team to cheer in the playoffs — not for love nor money."  -- RJ Currie
"Warriors set record for NBA regular season wins. Many casual sports fans thinking “The NBA HAS a regular season?”"  -- Janice Hough
"In the women’s NCAA tournament, UConn defeated Mississippi State 98-38, a 60-point margin. Mississippi State got a moral victory because I’m pretty sure UConn was favored by 61."  -- Brad Dickson
"When asked who’d win a series between the only 70-win teams in NBA history — the 1995-96 Bulls Steve Kerr played for or the 2015-16 Warriors he coaches — he replied like a seasoned politician. “I’ll just say: ‘If the two teams played each other, there’s no question that we could beat us and they could beat them."  -- Steve Kerr  (From Dwight Perry's column)
"A grand jury in Ohio indicted an ex-Browns employee for embezzling $88,000 from the team. Wait’ll they realize Johnny Manziel fleeced them to the tune of $7.7 million."  -- Dwight Perry

"Cleveland guard Kyrie Irving called the Cavaliers the “team to beat” in the playoffs. In a related story, the Grassroots Ohio pro-marijuana group is counting on Irving’s support."  -- RJ Currie
"A marijuana dispensary is seeking the naming rights to Denver’s Mile High Stadium. Which is ironic, as most people thought they already did."  -- Jim Barach
"The NCAA reportedly approved a 3-year moratorium on new bowl games. What a disappointment for all those 6-6 teams who just missed last year’s postseason."  -- Janice Hough
"Madame Tussauds unveiled a wax figure of Steph Curry. That night the wax Curry lit up the Philadelphia 76ers for 32 points."  -- Brad Dickson


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