Dreams Blog

May 25, 2012

Huckleberry Of The Month

Yes, it’s Josh Beckett. He missed a pitching start for the “Sawx” because of tightness in his back. Then he went out and played golf.

I can almost hear the steam coming out of Bobby “V’s” ears.

Just A Drop In Ocean

Norman Chad talked about the problems that Albert Pujols was having with the bat since moving from the Cardinals to the Angels and he wrote, “If he jumped out of a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, he might not hit the water.” This seems to be a familiar malady suffered by a lot of players when they switch from the National League to the American but not so much the other way around.”

The Pirates Of Pittsburgh

Gene Collier (Pgh. Post-Gazette) wrote about a recent game the Pirates played against the DC Nats, “Hurdle needed six pitchers to get through nine innings because starter Erik Bedard threw only eight pitches before back spasms forced him into the dugout in the second inning. No one was saying much about it, but it was reassuring that they didn’t have him on a pitch count of eight.”

Tommy John’s Weakness

Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) wrote about an expanding list of MLB pitchers who have had multiple Tommy John surgeries and talked to Dr. Frank Jobe about it. “Many pitchers have had multiple TJ procedures. Jason Isringhausen of the Angels had it done three times, and pitched well last season and this season.

Dr. Frank Jobe, who pioneered the procedure, has said that with second-timers, “You worry a bit more,” partly because it’s possible the pitcher simply has weaker than normal connective tissue.”

 

 

 

Petit Win

It was a BIG win, on 5/18, for Andy Pettitte when he posted his first win since 7/8/10. He pitched 8 innings, gave up 4 hits while striking out 9. His fastball reached 94MPH once (he twice threw in the low 90’s and he had 115 pitches for the day.

While this was all good news, we must remember that it was only one game. His 40-year old body can’t do that very often.

We have to hope for the best, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. 

I Miss Big Al

I miss the Oakland Raider antics that were initiated by Al Davis

Gone are the outlaw, renegade Raiders. They were replaced by the “faith-based” Oakland players. Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) said, “Davis never told his college scouts ‘Find out if the kid goes to church.’

Around Alameda headquarters everyone might as well be wearing WWAND buttons.

What would Al not do?” 

Curmudgeon Travels

Jack Finarelli, The SC, sent a travelogue THAT described his most recent vacation travel to Australia-New Zealand and painted a verbal picture of the Great Barrier Reef, “The Great Barrier Reef is one of only two living things on Earth that can be seen with the naked eye from the Space Shuttle.

The other is Kirstie Alley.”                                                              Lifetime Lefty

NY Yankees left handed pitcher, Fritz Peterson traded families with Mike Kekich in 1973. He’s in semi-retirement, working as a preacher and Black Jack dealer. Once a lefty, always a lefty.

Change Of A Nickel- Does That Make Cents?

The Sports Curmudgeon made a suggestion that (wait for it) made sense. He said that the NFL should only have two pre-season exhibitions and not increase the season’s games.

Fewer games would equal fewer hits to the head and so fewer concussions. That might make too much sense for the NFL suits to grasp.

Sunday Punch

Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) gave us these thoughts:

“From MLB: No decision on the A’s, no decision on the future of the designated hitter, no decision on Pete Rose. But Bud Selig and his crew are about to make a momentous decision on banning the move where the pitcher bluffs a pickoff throw to third, wheels and bluffs to first.                                                                                    “A question that came up in the press box the other night: Who was the last pitcher to pitch 300 innings in a season? Answer below.

 Last 300-inning pitcher: Steve Carlton, Phillies, 1980, 304 innings. But that was weak sauce compared to his 1972 season: 346 1/3 innings, 30 complete games in 41 starts. And that was when pitchers juiced by squeezing oranges.                                                Heated Discussion

Scott Hanson (Seattle Times) sat at Dwight Perry’s desk while Dwight was enjoying some R and R and sent along these items:

“An Attleboro, Mass., woman is praising the city’s trash collection company after its workers helped her dig through mountains of stinking garbage to find five valuable rings she inadvertently threw away, including her engagement and wedding bands, AP reported.        Sifting through a lot of junk hoping to find a nugget happens in sports too.                                                                                         It’s called an expansion draft.

“Ozzie Guillen, the outspoken Marlins manager, on how he would handle a situation like the Spoelstra-Wade flare-up: ‘If a player came out and said something, it would guarantee a fight.’   “Dwyane Wade and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra had an angry exchange during a timeout in the third quarter of Miami’s Game 2 loss.                                                                                            ‘Anybody that has been part of a team or has been a coach or been a player, you have no idea how often things like that happen,’ Spoelstra said. “… Those exchanges happen all the time during the course of an NBA season.’ Really? Here’s guessing it would only happen once for Gregg Popovich”

Scott’s Sub                                                                                   The Sports Curmudgeon told us that,Dwight Perry was on vacation for a week from the Seattle Times and left the Sideline Chatter writing chores to Scott Hanson. Messr. Hanson showed that he was well up to the task with this entry:                                                                                                “A family in La Puente, Calif., woke up to find a Lexus at the bottom of their swimming pool Sunday morning.                  ”Officials said it was the wildest drive since the last time Charles Barkley picked up a golf club.”                                                       Not to be outdone, Dwight wrote when he returned, “If quarterback Drew Brees’ contract impasse turns into a holdout, at least the Saints’ storyline has gone from bounty to mutiny.” OOF!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreams Blog

May 18, 2012

Ethics In Watching Football

NY Giants DE, Osi Umenyiora said that it’s likely that he’ll finish his life confined to a wheelchair. Because of that he’ll try to keep his children from playing football.

I’ve always felt that football players, especially pro players, were a lot like gladiators and that half of them were like visiting warriors in Coliseum games.                                                                                  Greg Doyle (CBSSports.com) told us that, “At Midwest Sports Fans, Josh Tinley wrote, ‘As we learn more about the connection between what happens on the field and what happens in a former player’s head later in life, we will have to make difficult choices.’

And the AtlanticWire.com asked: ‘Is it ethically defensible to watch and enjoy a game of football?’

“Fascinating question. Without fans, football dies. With fans, football players die. It’s probably not that simple, but this statistic here begs to differ: According to a study at the University of Michigan, retired NFL players in their 50s are five times more likely to have been diagnosed with a dementia-related syndrome — and retired NFL players from age 30-49 are 19 times more likely to have such a diagnosis.

“Nineteen times more likely!!

“Staggering fact. So we’re back to the question: Knowing what awaits NFL players after retirement, is it ethically defensible to watch it — and enjoy it — as they do this to each other?              “And let’s be honest: The lifestyle of an NFL player is incredible. Even if it ultimately shaves years off their lifespan — and lessens the quality of those remaining years — there’s an argument to be made that it’s worth it. The fortune, the fame. The thrill of the crowd. That’s a lifestyle they can’t get anywhere else. Live like a king at 30, hobbled at 50, dead at 65? Not sure I’d take it, but many would. And do.                                                                                         “The lifestyle of a college player? Not so precious, not when weighed against the odds of (not) playing in the NFL for a decade. Those are young men who made a choice. In lots of cases, those are young men who wouldn’t be in college — wouldn’t have a shot at being in the same general workforce as lots of us — without football. Playing football is a risk, but it comes with a reward.”

Dan Daly (DC Times) feels that there is some self-delusions in the players’ ranks, “They didn’t realize, as they came up through the football ranks, that they had chosen a dangerous pursuit? They weren’t aware that the brain is a sensitive organ, and that injuries to it can have catastrophic consequences? It never dawned on them that they were paid these large sums of money, far more than the average working stiff earns, basically because they were selling their bodies? Wasn’t any of that covered in the NFLPA’s rookie symposium?

Banning The Flying Wedge Didn’t Kill Football

Teddy Roosevelt, when he was President, banned the use of the Flying Wedge in football games because of the number of player deaths it caused.

Bruce Jenkins (SF Chronicle) gave his opinions on player concussions, “As my wife likes to say, ‘Men go to war.’ She’s not all that crazy about the concept. But it’s a pretty handy slogan, whether it’s two kids wrestling in the backyard or tough guys choosing fists before words. This is a country in which boxing, race-car driving and other life-threatening sports thrive, and always will, in the face of eternal outrage. (As the late Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray once wrote of the Indy 500, ‘Gentlemen, start your coffins.’)                                                                                                   “Pop Warner football has been around since 1929, and it’s quite an institution, but I’ve always found it a little bit sad, especially as it involves really little kids. Already they’re wearing uniforms and knocking heads? Play touch football, get your chops down, craft a bit of feel for the game, then take that crucial next step at the high-school level. By then, you’ll know if you really want it that badly, and unless I’m misjudging the unbridled passion for this sport, I don’t think there are enough protective parents to turn football into a wasteland. Too many moms and dads either revere the sport or live their lives through their kids’ high-school deeds.                     “If the NFL ever eliminates the kickoff, a truly exciting play that represents the essence of the sport, it will have gone too far on the safety issue. Otherwise, every new rule gets hearty applause from here. In the face of current and imminent lawsuits, rumored to be in the thousands, the NFL will do everything in its power to reduce and monitor concussions, including a program that would keep track of every retired player, many of them too proud to take measures on their own or admit to any brand of vulnerability.

“So we live with all that. What the doomsday critics forget is the gorgeous leaping catch in the corner of the end zone, a clever running back darting miraculously through the opposition, a perfectly thrown pass against a wave of blitzing linebackers – elements that will always be in place. Never forget that this is an elegant, beautiful game, and it’s something that cannot be killed.”

No for Nash                    

Yes. Steve Nash was an MVP, an assist leader, and a veteran point guard. But- the biggest word we MUST remember is “WAS.”

It Could Have Bowled Me Over

Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) said that, “Stunt woman Jolene Van Vugt of London, Ontario, broke a world land speed record when she clocked 46 mph in Sydney, Australia — on a motorized toilet.      “Canadians are reportedly so flush with pride they can’t keep a lid on it.”

More From Dwight

“A high-school PE teacher in Big Lake, Minn., has been placed on paid administrative leave after shooting a gopher that popped out of the ground during an archery demonstration, Minneapolis’ WCCO-TV reported.                                                                     The teacher refused to comment, other than to deny his name is Carl Spackler.

“Bumper sticker: “Always give 100%, except when donating blood.

“Robert Griffin III, the Redskins’ rookie QB, has taken steps to trademark “RGIII” and “RG3,” ChangeLegal.com reported.

The Indianapolis Colts, not to be outdone, immediately declared first dibs on “LOL.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreams Blog

May 11, 2012

Good Fight Needed

Bill Dwyer, LA Times, wrote about the Pay-Per-Views that have been on TV recently and how they weren’t worth the money. Two months after we had Ortiz-Mayweather, “We had Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. It was their third fight. The previous two had been hotly contested and  Pacquiao victories had been controversial. This time, because Pacquiao couldn’t figure out Marquez’s style and speed — even though he had spent an entire pre-fight promotion telling everybody he could — we had another close fight, but minus the usual Pacquiao action. The Pacquiao decision was decided on the judges’ cards and was as unpopular in the stands as it was on press row.

Mayweather and Pacquiao have carried the sport for some time now. They inherited it from De La Hoya, who carried it for more than a decade. The heavyweight division, the only place where the public really takes notice of a star, has two of them in the Klitschko brothers. They spend the bulk of their time in Los Angeles but have taken their game and fame mostly to Europe.

That leaves Mayweather and Pacquiao, both nearing the end of their careers, to keep the light burning. Boxing is not dying. But without entertaining efforts featuring the standard-bearers — Mayweather versus Cotto and Pacquiao versus Tim Bradley on June 9 — there may be some serious withering on the vine. You can’t keep selling diamonds and delivering rhinestones.” The fight to which I’m looking forward is the Peter Quillin (26-0, 20 KOs)-Winky Wright (51-5-1, 25KOs) on 6/2 in CA.

Curmudgeon Travels

Jack Finarelli, The SC, sent along a travelogue describing his most recent vacation to Australia-New Zealand and described the Great Barrier Reef, “The Great Barrier Reef is one of only two living

things on Earth that can be seen with the naked eye from the Space Shuttle.

The other is Kirstie Alley.”

WHY? WHY?                                                                              Greg Cote (Miami Herald) wondered what it would take before the NFL wakes up. “Immediately Junior Seau’s death was linked to that of fellow NFL star Dave Duerson, the former Chicago Bear who took his own life at his home in Sunny Isles Beach near Miami on Feb. 17, 2011.                                                                  A gunshot to the chest also killed Duerson, who purposefully did not aim at his head because, he said in a note, he wished his brain donated to a Boston University study of football concussions and lasting brain injuries.                                                                   Two other former NFL stars, Andre Waters in 2006 and Ray Easterling last month, committed suicide recently enough to recall. The only thing linking Seau with those two or Duerson is the tragedy of it, although it would take a naiveté to not imagine concussions as a common denominator.                                                  I would be very concerned about the possible link between concussions and these suicides if I were NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. And I would certainly go public with my concerns now, because attention reaches a whole new level when the tragic face of an issue suddenly is a respected 12-time Pro Bowl star such as Seau.”                                                                                          

The Garden Is Rotten

Jorden Brenner (ESPN.com) gave several lessons in Moneyball negotiating and his ninth had to do with “Garden Dolan.”           “Jim Dolan, Cablevision honcho and owner of the Knicks and Rangers, has made a big impact on the NBA and NHL. In the past 10 NBA seasons, a team in the upper quartile in spending finished in the bottom half of the league standings just 26 times. Nine of those were Knicks squads. During the past 10 NHL seasons, just 15 upper-quartile spenders had below-average seasons. The Rangers accounted for six of them.
The only fact more staggering than one owner accounting for so much futility? The Rangers and the Knicks are both in the playoffs this year. Let’s hear it for long-term plans!”                                          

Injuries To Kobe And A-Rod

Bruce Jenkins (SF Chronicle) wrote about the “New” German treatments for joint injuries. “That summertime trip to Germany – for an innovative brand of knee surgery – really paid off for Kobe Bryant. Reflecting on last season, when he was unable to practice or move efficiently, he told Yahoo.com, “I felt like I was playing on one leg. I wondered how I was ever going to play basketball again. But I feel brand new, man. It’s like, I’m here, 100 percent. Let’s see what’s what.” A-Rod seems to have shed ten years from his career ledger. 

Elmore Leonard’s Writing Rule

More from Jenkins- “Good stuff from Sports Illustrated’s Jack McCallum, one of the most respected NBA writers in the country, pushing for a permanent 66-game schedule in this week’s issue. Lamenting the colossal tedium of 82 games, McCallum quotes crime novelist Elmore Leonard on why his books are so successful: “I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”

Game For Royals

Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) gave us this recap, “Netherlands Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, as part of the Queen’s Day holiday festivities honoring his mother Beatrix’s birthday, went to Rhenen and took part in the town’s toilet-bowl-tossing contest.   Air to the throne? No kidding.”                                                                         

Olympic Angst

Did you happen to see the “Sixty Minutes” segment where Michael Phelps was interviewed? He said something that was a reminder of something I was told. He said that he’d been to a lot of different cities and didn’t see any of them; he only saw the pool and his hotel room. I found out this wasn’t unusual because the silent story here is that there are people out there who are looking to slip a banned substance into the athlete’s  meal or beverage in order to have them get bounced from the games.                                                                                                    The USOC is going to pay the athletes $1Mill for each gold medal. In other nations the athlete might get an apartment and a job, which might be worth more to them.                                                                          Sadam Ali had a cold and bought an over the counter analgesic that almost had him kicked off the team. All of the noise that went on threw off his focus and he lost his match.  Bad guys come from friendly nations their own team but the results are the same.                                                    Big money creates big problems!

                                                

 

 

Dreams Blog

May 4, 2012

 

 

Hockey Difference

There IS a difference between physical play and thuggery. I’ve always appreciated a good hip check- ala Timmy Horton. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman looked at that leaping shoulder-check by Raffi Torres and explained its viciousness by saying, “A lot of it is perception and misperception (Bettman suspended Torres but didn’t think Neil of Ottawa did anything wrong).                                                 Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) gave this explanation, “As a niche pastime, hockey can get away with behaving as foolishly as it wishes. Its side-show status discourages people from focusing too long on the Neanderthal behavior of players with vague and often unpronounceable names.                                                                                                 Hockey is a rough, coarse, dangerous game… and that’s just in the seats at a Philadelphia Flyers’ game.                                                                                                                        But violence also is the foundation of football’s popularity, and hostilities on NFL fields almost never get as out of hand as they have on NHL ice this month.”

Jets Draft

Quiton Coples was the Jets’ 1s t pick, the 16th overall, in this year’s NFL draft. He’s 6-6, 284 lbs. with a 4.71 speed in the 40.

One AFC personnel exec said, “He showed high-end football ability, but didn’t show it all the time. He’s a risk-reward.”

The Seawawks picked 15th and passed on Coples to choose a guy who spent time in jail instead.

The Jets sent their 5th and 11th round picks to the Seahawks to move up and pick, Ga Tech WR, Stephen Hill (6-4 215lbs). The hope here is that Hill can replace Plaxico Burress with his 4.13 speed in the 40. That was my time in the Living Room-Fridge beer dash back, in the day.

Pineda’s Pain

I don’t think we’ve heard the last about the pre-trade condition of Michael Pineda’s shoulder. I keep remembering the TV MEs s saying, “I’ll give you the COD after I get him on the table.” You can tell how a car was driven by looking at the tie rods.

Jose, Can You See What You Said?                                                 The Sports Curmudgeon (sportscurmudgeon.com) ranted about Jose Canseco: “It was only a couple of weeks ago that I wrote about how José Canseco was a favorite of mine because he provides so much material for these rants. Well, my good friend, Señor Canseco, is back again with more Tweets about global warming. It seems that on the anniversary of the encounter between the Titanic and that iceberg, Canseco thought it was a good time to tell the world how this related to global warming.                                                              ‘Titanic 100 years wOw. Global warming couldve saved titanic. Sad to say. Because we don’t recycle and consume like crazy icicles are non existent. Titanic wouldve still existed today’                                                                                                                                    My suggestion is to just read that for what it says on the surface and do not try to get involved in trying to figure out the physical and metaphysical underpinnings there. Such involvement is a dangerous journey into the Land of the Random Synapse Firing. Nonetheless, some folks tried to make sense of what Canseco Tweeted – – or just made fun of it – – so Canseco felt compelled to offer further explanation:                                                             ‘You clowns it’s very simple. With global warning [sic] the weather is hotter so the icebergs would be melted and titanic saved. 100 years ago people actually cared about planet and respected nature. Now we can care less and consume energy like it’s free’      Well, that certainly cleared everything up.                                           Look, there is credible medical evidence to link the use of steroids to the shrinking of the testicles in males. Perhaps José Canseco’s Tweets provide the basis to write a grant proposal to the National Science Foundation to investigate a possible linkage between steroid use and brain shrinkage.”

He Might Have A Point

“Sir Charles” Barkley has been hammering the Knicks for a long time, but that doesn’t mean that he’s always wrong. He recently explained why they’ve been playing well. “The reason the Knicks are playing well, that’s because they are well-rested because they quit on Mike D’Antoni, so they’ve got a lot more energy.”               

Air Griffin

Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) told us that, “The Clippers’ Blake Griffin shot air balls on back-to-back free throws against the Hawks last month.                                                                          On the plus side, he’s now an honorary member of the North Korean Aeronautical Society.”

Conventional Thinking

Brad Dickson (Omaha World-Herald) said that the, “The NRA convention was just held. It’s the second-largest annual gathering of gun lovers, right after the Alabama spring game.” . .

Going Quickly Downhill

Greg Drinnan (Kamloops Daily News) wrote that, “American skier Lindsey Vonn found out that she owed the US government $1,705,437 in back taxes for 2010 which was the year of the Vancouver Olympics. ‘The money owed has been paid in full,’ she wrote on her facebook page.

Which makes me wonder just how much money she made in 2019. Forget raising your child as a left-handed pitcher… Let’s go sking.”

They Said It

Greg Cote (Miami Herald), “Lakers’ Metta World Peace was suspended seven games for a wildly thrown elbow. We’re used to violence threatening world peace, not World Peace threatening violence.

“Dan Marino is the new “men’s life ambassador” for AARP. The group thought Marino perfectly represented American seniors because most of them never won a Super Bowl, either. (Ouch. Too mean?)

Dwight Perry (Seattle Times), “Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, on reports that 40 to 60 percent of Oregon football players smoke marijuana: “It’s having an effect. Two current players just left school early to make themselves available for the 2007 draft.”

Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com), “You’ve got to read the fine print – and turn down the volume – to understand that this year’s NFL draft crop is only so-so.                                                                                                                           

“If Bobby Valentine fails to survive the season with the Red Sox, people might want to recall the day Dustin Pedroia said, “That’s not the way we go about our stuff around here.” An interesting comment for a player to make about his manager.                         “At an age when most basketball players are spending their time on the golf course or a TV panel, 38-year-old Steve Nash is about to become a highly coveted free agent. The man takes care of himself… and the basketball.”