DREAMS BLOG

April 27, 2012

Massarotti’s Musing

Tony Massarotti (Boston Globe) described his sports writing style as “sprinkling the infield with a little sunshine, a little rain, and a whole lot of fertilizer.”

No Valentine’s Cards For The Sawx

I want to go on record as not liking the Red Sox very much and I like Bobby Valentine even less. I don’t think that Valentine ever met a live mic that he didn’t like.

Yet, I don’t believe ALL of Boston’s early season’s woes are his fault. The Sawx changed while Epstein was GM. After the team won two World Series, he thought he could do it all by himself, without help from a support staff. WRONG!

The Mark Of Cain

“Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear” when MLB finished what they started and relievers were older starters. A pitch count might be a foreign royal.

SF Giant matt Cain had a perfect game spoiled when he allowed the game’s only hit to the opposing pitcher. Cain threw 106 pitches and, lo and behold, his arm didn’t fall off.

The “Joba Chamberlain pitch count rules” didn’t protect Chamberlain or DC Nats’ Steven Strasberg from arm injury. Both had season ending surgeries last year.

Chalk one up to Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan Dave Righetti, and Jim Katt for their views on throwing.  

Pizza Man

Phil Rogers (ChiTrib) reported about Jeff Francoeur of the KC Royals, “The Royals’ Jeff Francoeur loves the right-field bleacher fans in Oakland. He sent 20 pizzas to Section 149 on Thursday.
“They’re diehards,” Francoeur said. “Those are the people you feel bad for with all the stuff that’s going on right now — whether they’re going to move or not. Those are the fans who obviously love coming out and being a part of it.”
Oakland fans and Francoeur bonded over bacon, of all things. Francoeur told the San Francisco Chronicle that he was getting kidded by fans two years ago and got into an exchange that somehow led to the subject of bacon. So naturally Francoeur tossed them a ball wrapped in a $100 bill, suggesting they get themselves some bacon and beer.
When the Royals got to Oakland last week, fans presented Francoeur a green T-shirt with the words “Second Annual Bacon Fest sponsored by Jeff Francoeur.” They called it Bacon Tuesday.
“I’m going to wear it, and they’re getting me another one signed by the whole group,” Francoeur said. “It’s awesome. Baseball to me is fun. We can take it too seriously sometimes. It’s nights like last night that make it a lot of fun to play this game. It’s something more than just baseball. It’s interacting with fans and having an experience you can talk about.”

Saints’ Death Penalty

Art Garfumides (ESPN.com) wrote that the NFL didn’t go far enough with their sanctions on NO Coaches Sean Peyton and Joe Vitt along with GM Mickey Loomis. He said that the “maim-for-bucks scandal should get the SMU treatment . The NFL should suspend the entire football operation for a year- no draft picks, no training camp, no exhibition games, and no regular season games. “They (NFL) need to send a message heard around the league that is so strong, nobody will even utter the word ‘bounty’ in a locker room again.”                                                                                         

Knucklehead Of The Week

Scott Ostler told us that Dallas Maverick Delonte West was fined $25K for sticking his index finger into, Jazz swingman, Gordon Hayward’s ear.

“Now we know the cost of a wet willy. My sources inside the league office tell me Commissioner David Stern has a menu for similar infractions. A noogie will cost you $15,000, a wedgie $35,000. “ 

 

Scott Ostler also has some sympathy for Tiger Wood’s woods, “You’re a touring golf pro, so you can’t just kick your clubs like a baby, but it’s a frustrating game. What would Ky Laffoon (what a name!) do? Laffoon, a notoriously blow-top pro in the 1930s and ’40s, lost a tournament because his putter betrayed him. Laffoon got a long piece of rope, tied one end around his putter and the other end around the rear bumper of his car, and drove 500 miles to the next tour stop.

— Seriously, there was a golfer named Ky Laffoon. Won 10 tournaments.”

Golf Purse

Greg Drinnin (Kamloops Daily News) passed along this tweet from comedian Gerry Dee: “Congrats to Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren who each won $500,040 at this week’s PGA event at Bay Hill.”

Cote’s Bon Mots

Gregg Cote (Miami Herald) wrote:

“True story: The London Olympics invited The Who to participate in a salute to British music and inquired on the whereabouts of drummer Keith Moon. Moon died in 1978.

“Parting thought: Saints replaced coach Sean Payton, suspended for the season in the bounty scandal, with coach Joe Vitt, who is suspended six games. It’s a sports first: A team’s interim coach needs an interim coach.”

OOF!

Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote, “Boston Bruins forward David Krejci escaped with only minor aches around the collar after a sheet of glass fell on him while celebrating his team’s first playoff win.                                                                            Doctors, unsure how to list it on the insurance report, finally settled on pane in the neck.”

Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoad.com) Maranara

“When the NFL moved up the kickoff to the 35 last season, touchbacks increased from 16.4 percent to 43.4 percent, which led to a reduction in concussions. Now it leads Giants owner John Mara to envision a day when NFL games are played without kickoffs. Unlikely, but food for thought.                                                                                              It’s amazing that SMU would hire 71-year-old Larry Brown to coach its basketball team. I mean, who even knew SMU played basketball?                                                                                       In case you didn’t know, and I needed reminding, SMU – still located in Dallas – joins the Big East in 2013. Makes about as much sense as most conference moves these days.”

Chad’s Blabs

Syndicated Sports Reporter, has a column called “Couch Slouch” appearing in the DC Post and wrote, “When I’m watching “Mad Men” on TiVo, there is perverse joy in fast-forwarding through the commercials on a show about an ad agency.”                                                                                                                        And “If everyone is using cell service now, can’t we replace all the telephone poles with maple trees?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreams Blog

April 20, 2012

What A Season

Wally Matthews (ESPN.com) pointed out that Raul Ibanez had five RBIs in the first two Yankees games putting him on a pace to drive in 450 runs this season. By the same token Matthews gave us eight head-scratchers by Yankees manager, Joe Girardi, which might project to over 700 for the season.                                                                                       Yes, this could get verrry interesting.

Chicago’s Dim Prospects

I feel sorry for Phil Rogers (ChiTrib) who has the White Sox and the Cubs as his home teams. He wrote, “Sports Illustrated still sees the White Sox as the class of Chicago. It has the White Sox losing 95 games, one fewer than the Cubs. What a summer we’ll be in store for if the magazine is right.
There has been only one other year when the two Chicago teams combined for as many as 191 losses. That was 1948, when the White Sox were playing 41-year-old Luke Appling at third base (and he was hitting .314!). Both Chicago teams were last in the eight-team leagues, but thanks to Andy Pafko, Cubs fans could make fun of their cousins who followed the White Sox.
The Cubs were 64-90, downright respectable compared with the White Sox at 51-101. They were managed by 260-game winner Ted Lyons, who decided to do something else after the year was over.”    

Steve Rosenbloom (ChiTrib) said he saw a t-shirt at the Cubs opener reading: “Sveumus catuli.” (for you Latin non-scholars GO CUBS)

The Dodgers Need Some Magic

Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) wrote that, “Magic Johnson, speaking for his fellow Dodgers owners, says, ‘We intend to build on the fantastic foundation laid by Frank McCourt …’ Plagiarism! I’m sure Magic stole that quote from Italian architect Giovanni di Simone, who in 1272 took over the long-delayed construction of a marble edifice anchored in loose soil. It would become the Leaning Tower of Pisa.”

The Ballad Of Jamie Moyer

Syndicated sportser, Norman Chad wrote about 49-year old Jamie Moyer, “He’s the only pitcher in MLB whose change-up is a fastball. Moyer is the dead-ball era. He’s never thrown 90 mph; his fastball barely hits 80.In a world of Ferraris, Moyer is a horse-and-buggy; in a world of smartphones, he’s a rotary dial The Rockies don’t use a radar gun when Moyer pitches, they use a sundial There’s an old baseball adage: You can’t hit what you can’t see. With Moyer, you can see what you can’t hit, and it’s exasperating. He went to Boston in 1996 — at age 33 — with a 59-76 lifetime record. He is now 267-205. Just think about that late career upsurge — I mean, imagine if Kevin Costner, at age 33, had miraculously discovered acting chops and became Olivier-like.

Moyer made at least 25 starts each season from ages 34 to 46.

When I’m dead a quarter-century from now, I hope ESPN Afterlife has highlights of a 74-year-old Moyer breaking Cy Young’s career record for wins.” Brad Dixon (Omaha World-Herald) explained Moyer’s 0-1 start this year, “The AARP magazine-cover jinx.”              

Dwight Howard-Superman—NOT

Howard is a basketball player with a great deal of talent for the game. But he doesn’t have a lot of game maturity. It came to light that he went to the Orlando management and asked them to fire the coach, Stan Van Gundy. Howard has done this before- remember Brian Hill?

Howard is slated to be a free agent next year with word that the Nets want him for their new Brooklyn arena.

If the Nets make him an offer, they must be careful, very careful. The Magics GM Otis Smith was asked if he heard about it and answered, “I didn’t have that knowledge.” What he didn’t say was that he didn’t know about it before it was said. And they thought Louis Carroll had the Jabberwock double-talk, “Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe.”
The Book Of Isiah

FIU began to resurrect their basketball program when they fired Coach Isiah Thomas, who’s said he’s never made a basketball mistake. Greg Cote (Miami Herald) noted, “FIU not surprisingly fired men’s basketball coach Isiah Thomas on Friday. The book of Isiah: A record of 26-65 in three seasons of divided attention. It is why the phrase “end of an error” was invented.”
Good Playing Earns You?

Kentucky’s Anthony Davis is projected to be the overall first choice in this year’s NBA draft. All of his success on the basketball court puts him in position to be tapped by the Bobcats. This could be the biggest inducement for Davis to return to Kentucky for his second year in school.                                                                                                       Is this a restraint of trade? 

Talking The Talk

Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) cited, “Greg Cote of the Miami Herald, after LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne reportedly scored a 4 on the NFL’s Wonderlic intelligence test: “Apparently things went downhill after he misspelled ‘L-S-U.’ “

Masters’ Note

Greg Hardy (ESPN.com) found a crumpled up note, “We have peeked at a crumpled slip of paper salvaged from a wastepaper basket in the scorer’s tent. It indicates sore losers are in cahoots with underhanded caddies, with lots of illicit green cash at stake that could ruin the integrity of golf’s most sacred weekend.          We hope that by spelling out this alleged hit that the guy who earns the green jacket won’t be needing to wear body armor to get there.  -Letting loose a hacking cough upon a golfer teeing off: $100.”                                                                   Is The Doctor In?                                                                           Former, convicted for doping, Balco honcho Victor Conte wants permission to be an advisor for, Olympic Medal hopeful, women’s boxer Marlen Espanza at the London Games.                                                           This reminds me of the Aesop’s Fable about the scorpion and the mouse. The scorpion agreed to carry the mouse across the river as long as it wouldn’t sting the mouse. The mouse climbed onto the scorpion’s back and the scorpion swam into the middle of the river where he stung and killed the mouse. This act disrupted the scorpion’s swimming. Before the scorpion drowned, it was asked why it stung the mouse if it knew it’s swimming would be disrupted. The scorpion said, “Because, it’s what I do.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dreams blog

April 13, 2012

 

Mets and Yankees Hopes

As the baseball season begins ( Hoo-Rah!!)I hope  that the Mets chalk up 95 but expect the final total to be 88 wins and that the Yankees win 100 but expect them to have 97.

Red Sox Metaphors

Danny Shaughnessy (Boston Globe) was staking out his spot under the “black cloud” that hovers in the minds of the Red Sox Nation. He lamented that the Sawx ended last season with a huge collapse, that you can’t go anywhere without getting hit in the face by the Titanic, “The 3 Stooges” movie was opening, and the Red Sox started their season on Friday, the 13th. Of course this could all be reversed with two wins. But I still like hearing talk like that.  

Kentucky Question

Does the UK play in some NBA rookie league? We’ll find out next year when half the UK team is in the NBA Head-hunters like “World-Wide Wes” and “Freddie The Ghost” will still earn their finder’s fees by steering big-time players to teams like Kentucky.                                  Bob Ryan (Boston Globe) compared this Kentucky team with some multi-year champs, “We should be thinking about their chances of being discussed with Bill Russell’s 1954-55 and 1955-56 San Francisco Dons, who went 57-1 as they won back-to-back championships. We should be discussing their chances of matching the Cincinnati Bearcats, who won titles in 1961 and 1962, before losing an overtime thriller to Loyola in the 1963 title game. We should be wondering what their chances are of being associated with one of the great UCLA Bruins clusters, whether it would be the Lew Alcindor-led group that swept to three straight titles between 1967 and 1969, or the (Bill) Walton Gang that ran over everyone to win it all in 1972 and 1973 before losing a memorable overtime game to North Carolina State in the 1974 national semifinals.                                                                                    Whoa. Almost forgot the Florida team that decided how cool it would be to go for two, after winning the championship in 2006, and then accomplished their mission by winning a second title in 2007.                                                                                              We should be doing all these things, because this Kentucky bunch is that good. But we know better. The Kentucky Wildcats will be breaking up that ol’ gang of theirs after one glorious season. 

In The Political Ring

Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) forwarded this item, “Mike Tyson told a Detroit radio station, ‘If I were president, I’d put Pacquiao and Mayweather in jail if they refuse to fight,’ ” noted Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald. “At least I think that’s what he said. I briefly passed out while pondering ‘President Tyson.’ “

 Is It Time?                                                                                       Every year in mid-April the “horn-blowers” wake up and start bloviating about what a disgrace the Masters Golf Tournament located at the Augusta National Golf Club is.

Well Sally Jenkins (DC Post) gave a true look at the problem. “Any discussion of Augusta’s all-male policy has to start with the fact that it’s a private club and has the right to do what it pleases. The trouble with the attack on the club nine years ago by Martha Burk was that she tried to publicly extort it into accepting a woman. That Rometty might be denied membership, and have to spend her vacations snorkeling in Anguilla instead of playing golf, is not an offense worth being bothered by, compared to the offensiveness of blackmailed social engineering. You want to tell Augusta whom it must accept as a member? Be prepared to tell the same thing to the YWCA, PFLAG, the sisters of Chi Omega, and African-American fraternities — and to seize and review their membership lists.                                                                               In its 80-year existence it has never admitted a female. Yet the previous eight CEOs of IBM, a longtime sponsor of the tournament, reportedly have all worn the club jacket. Withholding one from Virginia Rometty (CEO of IBM) would represent a significant bias-cut.

Inherited money doesn’t get you into Augusta, nor does status or reputation alone. The best way to become a member is to shark your way to the top of a large American company.                                 Rometty has done that. She presided over a strategy that has lifted IBM shares to the highest levels in company history.                          The word at the club has long been that it will admit a woman eventually — but that it will not be a news event. One day there will simply be a female member, and it will be up to us to notice. If Rometty does slip on a blazer, it will be quietly, for the simple reason that, in business, she plays from the tips”                                          (bc-playing each hole from its longest possible yardage from the farthest back place you can stand on the farthest back teeing ground so that you play the entire course at its longest possible yardage is playing from tips).

Nickname War

The Sports Curmudgeon brought up an interesting problem. “The NCAA and the University of North Dakota remain at loggerheads over the North Dakota nickname, The Fighting Sioux. Only a month ago, the NCAA sent a letter to the Provost at UND saying that the school risks forfeiting all post-season competition if the athletes, cheerleaders or band members wear or display the nickname or the current school logo. Meanwhile, the State Legislature in North Dakota passed a law sometime last year that requires the University of North Dakota to keep its nickname and its logo. There is a case pending in the state courts in North Dakota and the NCAA is making its feelings known about how that issue needs to be resolved within the state.                                           What I find interesting is that the NCAA has found a way to accept the Florida State Seminoles nickname, logo and mascot. I am certain that there are folks in the NCAA who can come up with perfectly acceptable socio-political explanations/rationalizations for the discrepancy here but allow me to suggest an economic one:                                        Florida State athletics generate a whole lot of revenue for the NCAA and for the athletic departments of the member schools. North Dakota athletics generate a pittance.                              Ergo… ‘

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreams Blog

April 6, 2012

 Championship Game

Bob Ryan (Boston Globe) is one of my favorites and here is an example of his “golden pen”: “We needed a championship game with true heft, cachet, and romance, a title game of college basketball elites. You don’t need one every year, but it’s good to have one every once in a while in which more than a century of tradition permeates every aspect of the matchup.UK and KU. We give you a matchup between the two winningest programs in college basketball. Kansas is at the vey heart of college basketball. The school first put a team on the floor in 1898. The coach? Oh, some Canadian refugee named Naismith. Yes, indeed, that would be Dr. James Naismith, who first came up with the game a few years earlier in Springfield, Mass. 

T-i-i-i-ime Is On My Side

Gene Collier (Pgh. Post-Gazette) sent along this thought about a one-second delay in time clocks, “Ya see when the clock blinks under a minute and converts to where it starts displaying tenths of seconds, there’s a delay. The clock goes 1:02, 1:01, 1:00, and then, after another full second elapses, it shows 0:59.9. In other words, when only a tenth of a second should have elapsed, from 1:00 to 0:59.9, a full second elapses, which means that when the clock shows 0:00.9 — as it does right now– there is actually no time remaining.”

Misplaced Priorities

The Sports Curmudgeon wrote about how the NBA Board of Governors was handling the situation concerning the New Orleans Hornets. “The Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal (R – Misplaced Priorities), agreed to spend $50M of taxpayer money to upgrade the New Orleans arena with the understanding that the New Orleans Hornets would remain there as tenants through the 2024 season. In a joint statement with the NBA – – remember, the NBA owns the Hornets since the previous owner basically walked away from the team – – Hizzoner the Guv said that this agreement was an important step in finding new ownership for the team. Let me translate that for you: This agreement will allow the NBA to get more money from a prospective buyer without the league having to put the prospective buyer in a hammerlock to make him keep the team in New Orleans for a decent interval before ultimately moving the team. This is $50M worth of lipstick on a pig of a franchise; look past the lipstick and it is still a pig.”l

Tebow Thoughts

Ian O’Connor (ESPN.com) wrote, “Tebow can help the Jets win as a capable second-stringer, a Wildcat quarterback, a special-teamer, maybe a dual-threat H-back. Sanchez?                                                 He’s earned a fair shot in Year 4. Not a free pass, but a fair shot. That means another full season as a starter, the same full Year 4 the Giants afforded Eli, who entered that season with a postseason record (0-2) that couldn’t touch Sanchez’s (4-2). If Sanchez proves once and for all he can’t cut it in this marketplace, and the Jets are 5-9 with two to play, OK, have at him.                                                   But to those knowledgeable, sophisticated New York sports fans who are proud of their reputation, and who are still planning to jump Sanchez and force Timsanity on the Jets before the leaves turn, here’s a word of advice:                                                                                                                           Don’t.”

Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) wrote, “How many back-ups travel like a rock star and own the back page? Tebow didn’t come to New York just to take a few snaps and run the Wildcat. Truth be told, his new bosses don’t really believe what they’re selling. It’s only March, and the Jets circus already has a quarterback controversy of its own making. We can debate the merits of Tebow’s on-field talents all day, but if you really believe professionals play harder for Tebow than for other quarterbacks, you just might have a problem separating reality from fantasy.”                                                                                                                                      Buffalo Dings                                                                                                                                    The Sports Curmudgeon looked at a recent Buffalo Bills free agent activity and wrote, “Bills’ owner, Ralph Wilson, explained his rationale for laying out the heavy bread it took to get Williams’ signature on a Bills’ contract saying that he was 92 years old and will not be around forever. That statement is eerily similar to one made by Leon Hess – – former owner of the NY Jets – – who said that he did not have a lot of time and wanted to win a Super Bowl as his justification for a hiring decision. What was that hiring decision that would bring Hess and the Jets to the Super Bowl? Hess used that rationale to explain his decision to fire Pete Carroll as head coach of the Jets and to replace him with Richie Kotite.”

No, Dorothy. This Isn’t Ebbets Field

The Dodgers were sold to a group that included Magic Johnson for the unbelievable sun of $2.15 billion (THAT’S BILLION WITH A B). “I’m all for Magic Johnson owning the Dodgers, by the way,” tweeted Dan Daly of The Washington Times, “especially if he puts pitchers and batters on a 24-second clock.”

How Fast Was That Last Pitch?

Jim Caple (ESPN.com) wrote about the senior-citizen pitcher, 49-year old Jamie Moyer, and the speed of his fastball. “The scouts no longer point radar guns at him, they just count ‘one-Mississippi, two-Mississippi—‘”

Headlines & Quotes From Dwight Perry (Seattle Times)   “Reggie Hayes of the Fort Wayne (Ind.) News-Sentinel, on Manning going from the Colts to the Broncos: ‘Turns out Manning will only play for teams with horse-related nicknames.’                                                                                               “The Milwaukee Brewers picked the perfect spot at Miller Park to place a statue honoring Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker this summer.                                                                                             ‘Just a bit outside.’                                                                                               

 “TheOnion.com posted this headline, ‘Peyton Manning re-injures neck saying no to Titans.’ “

Olympic Thought

The Sports Curmudgeon passed along this item written by Ron Judd (Seattle Times), “Sport officials have backed off a rumored plan to require female boxers to wear skirts when they fight at the London Olympics, saying shorts will be acceptable. It’s a major blow to fans who thought female athletes should be able to maintain an air of dignified femininity as they bash the snot out of each other.”