Dreams Blog

January 27, 2012

Giants-‘Niners In OT
Did You happen to notice those big guys who formed a protective circle around Giant Coach Tom Coughlin and escorted him off the field after the Giants’ 20-17 win over the Forty-Niners? I guess the reports of the post game hooliganism by some Niner game attendees necessitated their presence.
The Giants had to beat two teams in that game- one was the ‘Niner team the other was the officiating team headed by Ed Hochuli. Some of Hochuli’s rulings were really head-scratchers (Vernon Davis stepped out of bounds and Chris Canty WAS NOT the aggressor yet was bounced) and other rulings and ball placements were questionable.
SF passed for 196 yards but only 123 if you deduct Davis’ 73yd TD-RAC. Eli was sacked 6 times and roughed quite a bit but there was not huffing and puffing by the Giants who ALL remained business-like.
A Contest On So Many Levels
The Patriots have dedicated this season to Myra Kraft, owner Robert Kraft’s wife, who passed away in July. The Giants are remembering Wellington Mara, who was such a presence around his team for so many years. So there we have it!
The rumbling in the skies that you’ve been hearing hasn’t been coming from thunder it’s heavenly cheering!
A Little Good News
In a little more than two weeks, it’ll be “Pitchers and Catchers.” We’ll hear that familiar sound of a baseball landing in a glove- thwack, thwack. I’ll, once again, be a little jealous of Dan Shaughnessy (Boston Globe) when he chides, Red Sox GM, Ben Charington while sitting on a spring training bench.
A Pain In The Neck
I keep reading about all of the possibilities attached to Peyton Manning becoming a free agent and moving from the Colts to a different NFL team.
Bruce Jenkins (SF Chronicle) pointed out that Manning will turn 36 in March, had THREE neck surgeries in less than two years, where the wrong hit could sideline him for the year or possibly leave him paralyzed for the rest of his life. I think he’ll retire after the Super Bowl and receive a $28million option-bonus due March eighth, unless he’s cut .
The Colts could trade the pick for a lot of draft choices (not likely, draft Luck and pay Payton to play (not likely), or draft Luck and have him play right away, hoping he’ll be as successful as Cam Newton, with a retired Payton acting as his mentor (most likely to me).
A Change For Ryan
Jack Finarelli (sportscurmudgeon.com) agreed with my assessment of Rex Ryan and sent this message: “Bob:
I believe that Rex Ryan needs to change his coaching style as you suggest this week. And I think this will be an interesting situation to watch because it will indicate the degree to which Rex Ryan coaches with his brain as opposed to his glands.
I think he will realize intellectually that he needs to do something differently but I am not sure that he will be able to pull that off.
Should be interesting to watch…”
Cashman Is A Gold Miner
Yankees GM, Brian Cashman was able to answer a lot of his own questions on Friday the 13th with a pitching bonanza. Wallace Matthews (ESPNNY.com) reported that Cashman has won the off-season so far- “Montero for him (Cashman) is pretty much an admission by the Yankees that they thought Montero would never develop into an everyday catcher. In 18 games last September, Montero hit .328 and showed the kind of opposite-field power that makes GMs drool. If the guy could catch, he’d be another Bill Dickey, an untouchable. Obviously, the Yankees thought he couldn’t. And if there’s one thing the Yankees have in abundance, it’s DHs, and DHs in waiting.
Already, they’ve re-signed Andruw Jones to take on some of the right-handed DH duties, and it’s likely they will intensify their efforts to re-sign Eric Chavez to do the same from the left side. There is talk they may look to add another bat, maybe Carlos Pena. But their roster is loaded with aging guys who could use at least one day off a week, and they may just choose to rotate Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Robby Cano and Curtis Granderson in and out of the DH slot to keep everyone fresh. Moving Montero allows them to do that.
And best of all, they hold on to the pitchers Cashman considers the prized jewels of the Yankees farm system, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, and to a lesser extent, Adam Warren and David Phelps.
Charlie “O” Lord Of The Realm
I keep remembering how Charles O. Finley opposed free agency while he owned the Oakland A’s. He wanted to make every player a free agent every year because the best players would still get their money and the lower rated players wouldn’t get those huge contracts.
John Shea (SF Chronicle) also quoted Finley on arbitration. “As Finley said of owners in ’73, according to the book “Lords of the Realm,” “We’ll be the nation’s biggest -holes if we do this. You can’t win. You’ll have guys with no baseball background setting salaries. You’ll have a system that drives up the average salary every year. Give them anything they want, but don’t give them arbitration.”
Some Loops From Drinnan
Greg Drinnan (Kamloopsnews.ca) said, “More than 16 years ago a woman in Sweden lost her wedding ring. She recently found it in her garden, wrapped around a carrot. “Would that make it a one-carrot diamond?”
“Following the death of bowling legend Don Carter, Bianchi brought out one of his favourite bowling-related quotes, attributed to Mike Bianchi (Orlando Sentinel): “One advantage of bowling over golf is that you never lose a bowling ball.”
Letter Rip
Sports quiz question, from RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com:
“Q: What’s the difference between Aussie Open tennis players Li Na and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova?
“A: Most of the alphabet.”
Feeling Sorry
You shouldn’t feel too sorry for Tennis pro Andy Roddick because he lost all of those major tournaments. When everything is over and done he’s able to go home with his wife, Brooklyn Dekker.

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Dreams Blog 1.5

January 27, 2012

I wanted to add this to my usual post because it’s something that has created a few thoughts. I watched the opening show in the Fox.TV series- “Touch.”
By now most of you know about my fascination with numbers and how they relate to each other. This TV show is also about number relationships that appear to the public around the word. It’s well written, is suspenseful, and keeps the viewer trying to think of possible next steps.
Keifer Sutherland appears in the lead and doesn’t disappoint.

Dreams Blog

January 20, 2012

The Giants Lunch Pail Victory
That catch by Hakeem Nicks (7catches, 165yds., 2TDs) that ended the first half of the NY 37-20 win over the Packers was NOT a hail- Mary. It was a called play- “Flood Tip that was designed to put Nicks in a spot where he went up and got it with his strong hands,” Coach Coughlin explained.
The NY-D forced 3 GB fumbles that couldn’t be ignored or reversed. The worst call in my opinion saw Umeniora sack Rogers, tackling him around the waist as the many replays showed. The zebras called a roughing-hit to the head penalty on the Giants.
This might have been the straw that turned the scales toward NY.
GBs leading rusher was Rogers who was only 26-46, 264, in the air.
The Coaching Merry-Go-Round
Dan Daly (DC Times) wrote that the coaching pool seems to have dried up. “In recent years, such coaches as Jackson, Todd Haley, Josh McDaniel, Eric Mangini, Jim Mora Jr., Jim Zorn, Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli have all washed out in fewer than three seasons. It’s scary how little rope coaches are given nowadays. The league is almost becoming like hockey that way.
Want to hear something that’s truly mind-blowing? All 12 of the coaches who made the playoffs this season are connected — either closely or remotely — to Bill Walsh or Bill Parcells. (That is, they’re located somewhere in Walsh’s or Parcells’ coaching trees,; even if they’re just a twig.) Nobody should be too surprised, then, that Romeo Crennel, a former Parcells assistant, was named to follow Haley in Kansas City, or that Fisher, San Francisco’s secondary coach under George Seifert (Walsh’s successor), has been in such demand. So it goes in the NFL, where coaching searches have become a risky — and expensive — version of blind man’s bluff. ”
I keep remembering what an old boss of mine said (he was the only guy I ever met named ‘Lefty’)- “You can always find someone else who can’t do the job.”
That made me think about that carousel and how important coaching was in the final analysis. My breakdown would be: Player Roster-40%; QB-20%; GM-20%; Head Coach-10%; Off. Coordinator-5%; Def. Coordinator-5%.
A Back Up QB For The Jets
Dan Daly (DC Times) wrote about finding the right NFL-QB. “You can’t pay too much attention to the quarterback position in the NFL (though the Washington Redskins have been ignoring this axiom for the past year). Until you find a bona fide QB, you can forget about hoisting any Lombardi trophies, forget about making. any history — the good kind, at least. In fact, until you find a bona fide QB, you’re pretty much roadkill for all the teams that have found bona fide QBs.”
I was glad to see the Jets sign Mark Brunell to help Mark Sanchez grow into his role as a team leader. But Brunell turned out to be more of a pal than a mentor.
Now word has it that the Jets will be looking for more of a task master to spur Sanchez- especially bringing in Tony Sparano to be the new offensive coordinator. Sparano is from the Bill Parcells coaching tree and emulates Parcells’ tough love tactics.
I think that the Jets let the wrong coordinator go. I should have been Mike Pettine on the bricks instead of Brian Shottenheimer. Shott’s offense didn’t do well because the players didn’t play well (Sanchez?) not because of the called plays. Pettine’s defense (or was it Ryan’s) slumped because of the defenses called and too much emphasis was put on “Revis’ Island.”
Jim Harbaugh’s Philips-Head
Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) wrote about the reactions to Jim Harbaugh’s style.
We’ll call it the Tara VanDerveer Observation. The Stanford women’s basketball coach once said, “All the great ones have a ‘Yeah,’ he said, ‘I always thought it was weird. I always thought it was weird that a lot of head coaches don’t really speak to you and don’t want to get to know you personally. And when I first got here I thought it was a little weird that he wanted to do that. … That’s why he’s won the locker room over, and why he’s won the organization and everyone over.’
It’s too early to proclaim Harbaugh a genius, but the 49ers would be wise to keep the maintenance guy with the screwdriver away from their coach.”
What Cap Will Posada Wear In Cooperstown?
Happy 50th Birthday to Jim Caple (ESPN.com).
Jim wrote about Jorge going into the MLB-HOF in five years, when he’s eligible. He pointed out that Posada’s numbers compare favorably with HOF catchers Bill Dickey, Gary Carter, and Gabby Hartnett. Posada played on five World Series Championship teams and should have won the 2007 MVP with a .426 OBP, incredible for a catcher, and a .970 OPS (Johnny Bench had .932 and .902 OPS in his MVP years- Joe Mauer had a 1.031 in his MVP year).
Johnny Bench warned, “There are 13 catchers in the Hall of Fame, eight elected by the Baseball Writers Assn. and the other five by the Veterans’ Committee. That’s about one a decade.”
Speaking of Johnny Bench, Bill Dwyer (LA Times) said, He had his ways of communicating when enough was enough.
“We were playing the Dodgers in Cincinnati one time, and the game the night before had gone on until something like 1 in the morning,” Bench says. “Then, a few hours later, we were back out there, and it was hot. It’s late in the game, the Dodgers are up, 10-0, and our pitcher, Gerry Arrigo, is still trying to throw hard and can’t do it. If he keeps throwing what he is throwing, the game will go on for hours. So I give him the curve sign. He shakes it off. I put it down again. He says no. A third time. No.
“So I put down the fastball sign, he lets go, and I catch it with my bare hand. I look over in the Dodgers dugout and you can’t see a soul. The dugout was below ground at Crosley Field, and they were all rolling around on the ground, laughing.”

Dreams Blog

January 13, 2012

“BIG D” Now Stands For The Giants’ “D”

The Giants smothered the Falcons 24-2- a virtual shut down and shut out. The Falcons only had 64 yards rushing on 64 carries and 163 yards passing. The G-Men stuffed Atlanta twice on 4th down and once on a 3rd and inches in the 3rd.

Jacobs rushed for 93 and Bradshaw for 63. Nicks caught 6-115 and Manningham 4-68 while Cruz was being double and triple covered.

Re-Thinking Tebow

Tim Tebow did pretty well in Denver’s OT, 29-23, victory over Pittsburgh. He even threw the ball for good yardage and a TD. This will present a new wrinkle in New England’s defensive game planning.                                                                                  Exactly how did the Broncos with an 8-8 record get to host an NFL playoff game while the Steelers, who were at 12-4, didn’t?

It didn’t seem fair that the Broncos, who took their weak division’s title, were able to do that.

Tebow Numerology

Here is another example with my predilection with numbers.

Tim Tebow wears an armband having a scripture number printed on it. Against the Steelers it read “John 3:16”. Did you ask “Why is this relevant?”

The answer is that Tebow had 316 passing yards in that game; plus each pass averaged 31.6 yards.

Pass/Fail

Gene Collier (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) said that Tim Tebow’s game operates as a pass/fail. “When he passes, it fails.” Except this time.

Hey Ryan- We Want To Know

D.J. Gallo (ESPN.com) posed a question that should have been asked in a Rex Ryan presser. “as an expert on terrible predictions, what do you think about the Mayan calendar and 2012?”

Speaking Of The Mayan Calendar

Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) asked if that calendar will appear with swimsuit models.

Ryan’s New Leaf

There’s a big hoo-hah going on about Jets Coach Rex Ryan having to re-invent himself, as was done by Joe Girardi and Tom Coughlin. It’s being said that he should be more straight laced in order to provide a stronger base upon which the players could rely.

What’s interesting is that Girardi and Coughlin were thought to have been too rigid in their ways while Ryan appeared to be too easy going.

“G” and “C” must have found the correct mid-point because they won championships.

Now let’s wait to see how much or if Ryan changes. In the final analysis, Ryan MUST be able to know what’s going on with his team.

It’s Not Easy Being Green

Kermit T. Frog sang that song along with a lot of the NY Jets players. That controversy at the end of the Dolphins game has gotten a lot of ink already.

Only a complete overhaul of the Jets locker room, that includes the coach, both coordinators, the QB, as well as the team captain Santonio Holmes is going to work.

Holmes, BTW, was called a cancer by one anonymous player.

Raiders’ Castle

Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) wrote that Raidrs’ coach, Hue Jackson, “Is on double-secret probation: Improve the team next season or take a hike.”

Flag On The Raiders

This past season the Oakland Raiders were flagged 163 times or just over 10 times per game, as the Sports Curmudgeon reported. Those flags totaled 1358 yards (just under 85yards/game). This is one stat in which the Raiders led the league.

Edwin Jackson- Desired At The Right Price

9yrs in majors, 60/60 195 IP/YR, 145 K/YR, 1.82K/BB- a bit low, 4.46 ERA- a bit high, 1.48 WHIP- a bit high.

Boras is his agent and is asking for a multi-year deal for $15 million.

Women’s Soccer

Kevin Baxter (LA Times) wrote about our Women’s World Cup Soccer team and their coach, Pat Sundage, who has a 77-5 since becoming coach in 2007. The team is going to play the opening qualifying round in Vancouver in late January. The top two teams in this tournament will advance to London.

The other participants include the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Guatemala.

2012  Numbers Thing                                                                      In showing that I’m not alone in finding number associations interesting, Doug Williams (ESPN.com) about: “THE MILESTONES

Little big man: Ray Rice is just 5-foot-8, but while playing for Rutgers he became the first player in Big East history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season, totaling exactly 2,012 in 2007. Kareem’s career: He’s the NBA’s all-time career scorer, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also came into the league as a dominant rebounder. (Just ask his biggest fan, Roger Murdock of “Airplane” fame.) Abdul-Jabbar played 20 seasons in the NBA and for 12 consecutive years averaged more than 23 points and 10 rebounds. PERFECT TIMING                                                                             At the 1987 U.S. Track and Field Championships, Carl Lewis sprinted to a win in the 200 meters with a time of 20.12. If only his (in)famous rendition of the national anthem had been so quick.      20s & 12s: SOME DYNAMIC DUOS

Rocky Bleier (20) and Terry Bradshaw (12): The running back (now a motivational speaker) and QB (now motivated to speak) teamed up for four Steelers Super Bowl championships.

Mel Renfro (20) and Roger Staubach (12): Five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Renfro and Hall of Fame quarterback Staubach helped the Dallas Cowboys win two Super Bowls together.

Penn State’s O’Brien

Bill O’Brien was hired to do more than just coach the football team at Penn State; he is going to head up that program and put it back on the straight and narrow.

All of those complainers from the University’s Lettermen’s Club wanted someone with ties to PS.

I’m glad they didn’t get it because I think everyone in that old program knew what was going on  

Those Wild And Crazy Mormons

Brad Rock (Deseret News) wrote about BYU saying: “BYU fans screamed, stomped and celebrated way too much.                    Though the outcome of the Cougars’ 81-56 win over San Francisco had been long decided, students stayed to cheer madly for every basket on Saturday. The reason? They’re fans, for one thing. Second, it was a frozen yogurt giveaway night.                          With the Cougars scoring 80 points, ticket-holders qualified for a treat at Yogurtland.                                                                   Here’s to things that makes people act a little silly and wild.            Frozen yogurt — the Mormon alcohol.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreams Blog

January 6, 2012

Giants-Jets Week 17
The Giants (9-7) stepped up to defeat the Cowboys (8-8) 31-14. They rushed for 106yds and passed for 346yds while limiting Dallas to 49yds on the ground. The D had 6 sacks, 1int, and 2 forced fumbles. Nicks caught 6 for 76 and Victor Cruz had 6 for 176. Umenyiora had 2 sacks. Eli had 3TDs.
The Jets ended their disappointing year by losing to Miami 19-17. Sanchez had 2TDs but also was intercepted 3 times. Santonio Holmes was benched when his teammates complained that he quit on them.
Raider Truisms
Santa and his helper the world’s tallest elf- Mikey asked if I could write more Raider info than I had been writing.
Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) wrote that the Raiders are the dumbest team in football. Here are a few highlights: “The Raiders were penalized for delay of game on a fake field-goal attempt that went for a (disallowed) touchdown.
Lamarr Houston was penalized in the second quarter for spiking the ball after helping break up a pass.
Tight end Kevin Boss false-started on the first play of a Raiders drive. That should happen approximately never per season.
Twice the Raiders were double-dipped – flagged for two infractions on one play. On a punt return, they had an illegal block and 12 men on the field. The Chiefs declined the 12-man penalty, which was too bad, because those 12-man penalties are so rare … except for the Raiders.”
Stat Of The Week
Greg Easterbrock passed this along in his weekly TMQ (Tues. Morning QB) column: “The Ryan brothers’ teams (the Cowboys and Jets) are 0-8 this season versus the Eagles, Giants, and Patriots.”
Replacement
I’d like to see the Giants replace, Defensive Coordinator, Perry Fewell with Steve Spagnuolo even though the Giants D did well against Dallas. I don’t think it was anything Fewell did but more a players’ thing.
Boston-NY Rivalry Kindling
Dan Shaughnessy (Boston Globe) witnessed the rebirth of the Knicks and didn’t like it. “It looks like the Jets are out of the way, but brace yourself for some weeks, maybe months, of chest-thumping from your obnoxious friends from New York. Make way for the Big Apple Frauds. The Knicks think they are finally better than the Celtics.
In a Holiday Festival that was everything David Stern could have wanted to cure post-lockout stress disorder, the “all-new,’’ muscle-flexing Knicks squeaked out a 106-104 victory against the Paul Pierce-less Celtics yesterday at Madison Square Garden.
Playing in front of Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, and a raft of B-list celebs (Matthew Modine, anyone?), the Knicks blew a 17-point first-half lead at home, and needed every ounce of luck and strength
A-Rod’s Knee
The MLB-MD’s seem to be having a negative reaction to A-Rod’s treatment. As near as I understand it, they’re saying, “I don’t know anything about it, but you’re wrong.”
Still, how different is this treatment from the same things being done in the States?
Is the German MD putting a little something extra in the mix the way Victor Conte did?
If a treatment is too good to be true, it probably is. The chances might be just as good as getting the six winning numbers in next week’s lotto drawing.
Different Knicks
The Knicks started the shortened season by scoring 106 pts. In beating- YES, BEATING THE CELTICS. Then they went out west and put in 78 in a loss to the Warriors, with David Lee, and 82 in a loss to the Lakers.
I don’t know who they are, yet, but until I do I’m thinking we’ll see 20-25 wins.
They need other players beside Anthony and Stoudemire to put points on the board as well as well as someone to make penetrations.
Chandler DID show me something against the Lakers. He pulled down four offensive boards and had 14 free throws. He has to do that every game.
They Said It
Len Berman (ThatsSports.com) on threatened protests in Montreal because Canadiens coach Randy Cunneyworth doesn’t speak French: “Nobody knew what Casey Stengel was saying, either, and nobody picketed Yankee Stadium.”
Greg Drinnen (Kamloops Daily News) passed along this headline from SportsPickle.com: “SportsPickle.com: $55 million federal investigation successfully forces Barry Bonds to watch TV at home for 30 daysto beat the Celtics, who were playing without their best player.
What He Learned In 2011
Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) sent along these thoughts: “Football players don’t fumble anymore. They “put the ball on the ground.” August’s East Coast earthquake wasn’t San Andreas’ fault. (OOOF) A semi-retired Marty Schottenheimer is a better coach than some of the guys on the sidelines Sunday afternoon. The only thing worse than the Red Sox falling apart in September is every other problem in the world. As an NFL rookie, Cam Newton is nearly as good as he said he was and a lot better than most people thought. It’s never been easier for an NFL quarterback to complete a pass. The backroom dealings associated with college conference realignments would make Tony Soprano blush.”
The Year That Wasn’t
Jim Caple (ESPN.com) looked back at some occurrences that might have happened (NOT): “March 27: Kentucky’s John Calipari completes one of the most amazing coaching turnarounds in history when he reaches the Final Four just years after what the official NCAA record books shows as winless seasons at UMass and Memphis.
April 8: Following another positive test for PEDs, Manny Ramirez receives a 100-game suspension but he doesn’t notice.
June 19:In the most extraordinary golfing performance since Tiger Woods won the 1997 Masters, 21-year-old Rory McIlroy rallies from his crushing collapse at Augusta in April by piling up an eight-stroke lead and shooting an historic 16-under-par at the U.S. Open. He finishes second, however, to Kim Jong-il, who shoots 52-under with 31 holes-in-one.” Impress Your Friends Trivia
This came from Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle): “ The last NFL player to play without a helmet? Dick Plasman, Chicago Bears end, Dec. 21, 1941. He caught two passes for 48 yards that day against the Giants. Plasman then went into the service, and helmets became mandatory in 1943.”