Dreams Blog

June 26, 2015

A Rose By Any Other Name Is Still Spelled- Liar
I may have been naïve but I felt that Pete Rose should have been reinstated. But not now. All along Rose said that he didn’t bet on baseball when he was a player. However that’s been proven to have not been true.
How can you tell if Pete Rose is telling a lie? His mouth is moving. Rose was never sorry for what he did wrong. He was only sorry that he was caught.
Knick Draft
Ian Begley (ESPNNY.com) told us, “The New York Knicks are “entertaining” the idea of trading down in the draft if Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Duke’s Jahlil Okafor and Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell are off the board before they make their pick, sources tell ESPN.com’s Chad Ford.
Writes Ford:
‘It sounds as if they remain on the fence about both Emmanuel Mudiay and [Kristaps] Porzingis. That’s why they’ve been looking at players such as … Frank Kaminsky in recent workouts. If the Knicks can get a valuable veteran and still land somewhere in the back end of the lottery, it might make more sense for them than taking a player they aren’t sold on at No. 4. We know several teams, including the Nuggets and Pacers, are trying to move up in the draft.”
Team president Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills have both said that the team would consider all of its options with the No. 4 pick, including the possibility of trading it.’
If you’re looking for more evidence that the Knicks are at least considering the possibility of trading their pick, the club is scheduled to work out three players this week who are projected by most to be taken outside of the top four picks.
So it would be premature to say that the Knicks are “definitely” trading their pick or keeping it at this point. But, according to Ford’s sources, there are scenarios in which they would entertain dealing it.
One of the interesting aspects of Ford’s report is that the Knicks are not sold on any of the prospects that could be available to them in the scenario discussed above, including Mudiay, Porzingis and Winslow. Passing on these three players, of course, could leave New York open to plenty of second-guessing if one of them turned into an elite NBA talent.”
ESPNNY.com discussed Phil Jackson’s recent presser, “Jackson made it clear that he’s committed to running his triangle offense — and he will recruit players based on their ability to fit the system.
I don’t think the offensive system has to take a back seat to anything we do,” Jackson said. Later, he added: “Players who are resistant to it shouldn’t be here.
Jackson delivered another not-so-subtle message to potential free agents when he talked about branding.
We’re not interested in guys who are just interested in the money and in their branding. They have to have a little more to their life than just those selfish desires,” Jackson said.
Jackson made it clear that he’s committed to running his triangle offense — and he will recruit players based on their ability to fit the system.”
Jackson said, “For the time I’m here.” Has he started looking already?
Jackson’s Views On Offenses
“When I watch some of these playoff games, and I look at what’s being run out there, as what people call an offense, it’s really quite remarkable to see how far our game has fallen from a team game,” Jackson told Bleacher Report. “Four guys stand around watching one guy dribble a basketball.
“I watch LeBron James, for example. He might [travel] every other time he catches the basketball if he’s off the ball. He catches the ball, moves both his feet. You see it happen all the time. There’s no structure, there’s no discipline, there’s no ‘How do we play this game’ type of attitude. And it goes all the way through the game. To the point where now guys don’t screen — they push guys off with their hands.”
Perry Patter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote, “Major League Baseball has canceled out 65 million All-Star Game votes because of improprieties.
“Where were you guys when I could have used you 15 years ago?” asked Al Gore.
Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, on All-Star voting run amok: “Six members of the Kansas City Royals are now leading the U.S. presidential race.”
“Broncos linebacker Von Miller revealed he’s been fined by the team for breaking wind in team meetings.
If that doesn’t call for a personal-foul penalty, what does?”
So what if he’s hitting .647 with five homers and 15 RBI in just nine games against Cleveland this season?
Or, as reader David S. put it to The Plain Dealer: “Did Albert Einstein get his definition of insanity by watching the Indians pitch to Miguel Cabrera?”
Switzerland’s ambassador to Venezuela, annoyed at a Caracas Country Club next door to his residence, put up a banner warning that stray golf balls injuring or killing anyone on his property would violate the Vienna Convention.
And if Charles Barkley happens to be playing there, the Geneva Convention.
Sounders forward Clint Dempsey got fired up during a U.S. Open Cup game and tore up the referee’s notebook.
In addition to a three-game suspension, MLS gave him a commemorative, taped-together red card.
Just five of 149 local homes listed by a Gig Harbor rental company for last weekend’s U.S. Open were listed as “rented” on tournament weekend, the Tacoma News-Tribune reported.
What, weren’t the lawns green enough?
The Mariners rank last in baseball in team batting, and 28th in runs scored and on-base percentage?
Here’s hoping new hitting coach Edgar Martinez knows a good recipe for chicken salad.
Golfer Dustin Johnson, the future son-in-law of hockey icon Wayne Gretzky, tied for second in this year’s U.S. Open.
To no one’s surprise, he was a combined 2-under on the five-hole.
There’s a law on the books in Arlington, Va., making it illegal to curse, punishable by a $250 fine and possible jail time.
Hubie Brown, in absentia, just got sentenced to 2,500 years in jail and a $3 million fine.

Dreams Blog

June 19, 2015

Poor Name
How does our mayor feel about NYC starting to be called “Gun City?” Would the return of “Stop and Frisk” help?
Fenway Tragedy
Dwight Perry told me that: “We don’t know anything about broken bats here in Seattle. Our guys don’t hit anything with their’s,” when I asked him of the bat’s make-up. He told me the Boston Herald wrote:
“The woman struck by a broken bat at Friday’s Red Sox game at Fenway Park “remains in fair condition,” according to a spokeswoman at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Tonya Carpenter’s condition, the hospital added, is “not expected to change today.”
Carpenter was sitting in the second row of the stands on the third base line on Friday night when Oakland Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie’s maple bat splintered as he swung at a pitch, sending shards rocketing toward Carpenter, 44, who was hit in the head by the barrel of the bat.”
This is just ANOTHER case of shattered maple bat that seriously injuring someone. How long will this continue? The frequency of the failures in maple bats have prompted 1st and 3rd base coaches as well as any on-field personnel to be mandated to wear helmets or other head protection.
Tanaka’s Recent Outing
Andrew Marchand (ESPNNY.com) talked about his game against DC and Scherzer, “The Yankees have kept their belief in their doctors and Tanaka’s ability, believing and praying Tanaka can remain healthy. While things could change as quickly as Tanaka’s next start, Tanaka all of a sudden has it all working again.
He reached 95 mph once with his fastball, but stayed consistently in the 93 range. He commanded all of his pitches, making it so he didn’t have to rely on his splitter in two-strike counts as the Nationals made quick outs. The final score belies that it was tied at one as late as two outs in the bottom of the seventh when Tanaka was done for the night.
McCann agreed that Tanaka looks like the dominant guy everyone watched a year ago. The very-good-but-not-great pitcher who doubted his velocity to start this season has been transformed back into an ace his first two starts following the five-week respite.
“It is very similar,” Girardi said of the last two starts compared to Tanaka of a year ago. “You talk about the efficiency in those two starts. That is as efficient as he has ever been.”
Tanaka is not the only Yankee starter who’s pitching well. They have allowed two or fewer runs in eight straight starts. But Tanaka’s two starts are the biggest of them all. Pairing him with Michael Pineda is an enticing thought for the regular season and beyond.
On Tuesday, Tanaka had a huge opponent.
“I knew who I was going up against today,” Tanaka said.
Tanaka dominated. The question, of course, remains if his elbow will hold up. That is an unknown. What is known at the moment is that if he is healthy, Tanaka looks as good as new.”
Rule Book Strike Zone
MLB says, “1996 – The Strike Zone is expanded on the lower end, moving from the top of the knees to the bottom of the knees.
1988 – “The Strike Zone is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the top of the knees. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter’s stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.”
The Sports Curmudgeon talked about how the zone changes, “A stable and predictable strike zone – inning-to-inning for now but someday game-to-game also – could be a way to increase pace of play. Moreover, if that stable and predictable strike zone happened to be the one in the rule book, it would cause batters to be more aggressive and not run deep into every count. Now, how do you get the umpires on board with all of this…?”
Hot Geno
Rich Cimini (ESPNNY.com) wrote about the Jets’ OTA, “Geno Smith ended the three-day camp with another solid performance — no turnovers. His best moment came in a 7-on-7 drill, when he fired a 50-yard strike to Chris Owusu for a touchdown. Everything about the throw was perfect. Afterward, head coach Todd Bowles provided some perspective, noting, “It’s a practice play. I’m not going to make too much of it. We know he can throw the ball when he gets an opportunity.” Translation: Let’s save the evaluations for when the pads go on and the pass rush is live.”
Perry Patter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote: “Shouldn’t this have happened in Green Bay Packers territory?
Two guys got into a fight over sausage in Madison, N.J., but that wasn’t the wurst of it.
Police arrested the one named Thomas Bacon.
The world’s tallest cow died May 26 in northern Illinois.
But here’s the shocking part: It wasn’t even a Chicago Bull.
Todd Dewey of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, after Pittsburgh took shortstops Kevin Newman (Arizona) and Kevin Kramer (UCLA) with their top two picks: “Pirates draft Newman, Kramer, but no Costanza.”
At TheOnion.com: “FIFA advises female players unhappy with turf to spend more time in midair.”
The FBI and Justice Department prosecutors are investigating whether St. Louis Cardinals employees were the ones who hacked into the Houston Astros’ player database.
If so, this could be the most costly “caught stealing” in baseball history.
The Minnesota Twins hit three triples in one inning against the Rangers on Sunday, yet scored only once.
How? Shane Robinson, who hit the second one, got picked off third.
The Indianapolis Colts hung a “2014 AFC Finalist” banner at Lucas Oil Stadium to commemorate their 45-7 loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
Yes, and Custer was a finalist at the Little Big Horn.”
At TheOnion.com: “Report: 87% of Americans unaware they have been chosen in later rounds of MLB draft.”

Dreams Blog

June 12, 2015

Baseball Draft
Andrew Marchand (ESPNNY.com) suggested: “With most players needing three to five years to develop, there is no point, Cashman said, in drafting for need. By the time a draftee makes the majors, a club’s past weakness might pivot into a strength.
In 1992, the Yankees, at No. 6, decided on a high school kid from Kalamazoo, Michigan, named Derek Jeter. Whatever happened to him?
Scouting and fate determine the future of a franchise. Sitting at No. 16, the Yankees are in their best position in more than two decades.
ESPN.com draft expert Keith Law predicts the Yankees will take Cornelius Randolph, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound shortstop from Griffin, Georgia. He thinks catcher Chris Betts from Long Beach, California, and second baseman Ian Happ from Cincinnati, also are possibilities.
While no one can know for sure what they will do, the Yankees won’t have to rely as much on chance this year to get the player they want.
“There are more people in the pool,” Oppenheimer said.”
Sabathia-Warren
Andrew Marchand wrote about Adam Warren, “His quality start was his fifth straight. No one on the staff has had more in a row this season.
Still, you could imagine the Yankees would ideally like to put him back in the bullpen to pitch the seventh in support of Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller. It could make the Yankees even better at the back of games. But, if Warren and Sabathia continue to pitch like they have starters, how do you take Warren out of the rotation?
Warren has always been liked, but maybe not loved by the Yankees. He was always been in a group of prospects, but was never the headliner, like the since traded Manny Banuelos.
Warren doesn’t tantalize you with how great he could become, he lulls you into realizing maybe this guy has staying power to be pretty good.
On a team filled with a lot of nice guys, Warren may be the nicest. The guy never seems to be in bad mood, nor does he ever lose his cool. They are not the most important attributes, but his even keel does not hurt. For his sake, he is not thinking about what might be, rather what is.
“I hate to look too far into the future into what might happen,” Warren said.
We don’t have that same dislike and — if the trends continues and there are no injuries — the question that must be asked: How do you take Warren out of the rotation?”
I’m sure the trade talk is abuzz on River Ave. about this time. Let’s see what the next starts bring.
Silver Threads
Kevin Amovitz (ESPNNY.com) wrote about, NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver’s, talk at the NBA finals, “On the suggestion of seeding NBA playoff teams 1 through 16 rather than ordering the top eight in each conference, Silver said concerns over player health and the longer distances teams would travel during early-round matchups were a deterrence.
“I think ultimately where we came out is this notion of 1-through-16 seeding, while it seems attractive in many ways, because of the additional travel that will result, it just doesn’t seem like a good idea at the moment,” Silver said.
He cited the Golden State Warriors, who would have faced the Boston Celtics in the first round of this year’s playoffs under such a scenario.
“This notion of, for example, this team would have played Boston in the first round under a 1-through-16 seeding and would have had to crisscross back and forth across the country, which does not seem like a good idea,” Silver said.
The commissioner said the NBA will make adjustments to the schedule in 2015-16 to limit back-to-back games as another effort to reduce the grind of the season and reduce the number of injuries to players.
“I think the science over time zone travel has gotten much better, where moving four time zones we think may have an effect on players’ bodies that we may not have understood historically,” Silver said. “So this is all something we’re taking a very close look at. We’re working in conjunction with the players’ association on this.”
I don’t feel it has to be one or the other. There has to be some way these smart guys can figure out how to combine the two.
Molinaro Marinara
Bob Molinaro (Hampton Roads Pilot) wrote, “Tail wags dog: Alabama-Birmingham president Ray Watts, the man who killed the school’s football program, welcomed it back six months later after the people who write the big checks and others who were making his life a living hell convinced him that a university without football just doesn’t count for much anymore. Isn’t that one not-so-subtle message to emerge from this Bama brouhaha? Though football will create millions in deficits, Watts now says that it would “foster much goodwill” and bring “positive national attention.” The lesson here, boys and girls, is an old one: At almost every level of competition, school administrators are powerless to stop football.
Carolina way: Watch as media and fan interest in the NCAA’s notice of allegations against North Carolina focuses on whether or not Roy Williams and his highly ranked basketball team can escape serious sanctions – not on the years of shameful academic fraud at the school.”
Perry Patter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote: “Bidding on eBay for a Detroit stadium urinal autographed by ex-Lions star Barry Sanders has surpassed $2,000.
2,000! Imagine what you could get for one signed by Whizzer White.” Hard to believe, yet true,” noted Greg Cote of The Miami Herald. “This is the first NBA Finals since 1998 that does not include Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade or Tim Duncan.”
Alabama-Birmingham reinstated its football program for play in 2016 — just six months after announcing it was scrapping it.
If anyone has any sense of fortuitous timing, the season opener’s very first play call will be a reverse.”
Walmart is taking songs sung by Celine Dion and Justin Bieber off its in-store playlist after complaints from employees.
But when it comes to assaulting the senses, why stop there? No more Phillies games on the TV sets!”

Dreams Blog

June 5, 2015

Lower Crime Stats
Could it be that when certain non-violent crimes were allowed to be cleared by paying a fine, the stats showed a crime reduction?
Tanaka
Although it was a wonderful game pitched by Tanaka against the Mariners, I must remember that it was only one outing and I can’t campaign to book the parade yet.
Mets/Yankees
Both of our teams were tied for first, having played 51 games- 38% of the season. If they want to win 95 games each, the Mets have to win 60% of their remaining games and the Yankees need 62%.
Perry Patter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote, “Brains to spare? Not this turkey.
An employee of the Pla-Mor bowling alley in Decatur, Ill., told police that a robber split with $2,100 from the safe after landing a KO strike upside her head with a red house ball.
But her story landed in the gutter, the Bloomington (Ill.) Pantagraph reported, when surveillance video revealed her picking up the ball and striking herself twice on the Brooklyn side of the noggin to create a tell-tale lump.
Police recovered $439 in a Hello Kitty-brand bag from the employee’s car. The rest, she said, went into the alley’s slot machines.
Tuesday was National Paper Airplane Day. So when is National Spitwad Night?
Johnny Depp reportedly faces up to 10 years in prison for illegally bringing his dogs into Australia.
And you wonder why James Dolan won’t let his Knicks play exhibition games there?
ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy, on the Warriors’ lackadaisical start in Game 4 vs. Houston: “There is no carpe in their diem.”
Which of these handy-dandy tips was NOT listed among Yahoo.com’s “three ways to avoid a dangerous air bag”?
a) Stop texting and driving
b) Stop drinking and driving
c) Hit the mute button whenever Skip Bayless comes on
Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the U.S. of meddling in FIFA affairs in its prosecution of the soccer-bribery scandal.
Putin reportedly said it with a straight face while standing in seized Ukraine territory.
Brad Rock of Salt Lake City’s Deseret News, on BYU football signing two huge rugby players — a 6-7, 410-pounder from Tonga and a 6-7, 322-pound New Zealander: “If only Andre the Giant were still alive.”
“Playing NBA basketball for a living is a very, very, very good gig,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Everyone should try it.”
The average NBA salary this season, according to reports, is $5.1 million.
Speaking of headlines, what’s the over/under on the first “Soccer loses Blatter control” sighting?
Scrappy Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova — whose contact knocked the Hawks’ Kyle Korver out of the playoffs — is drawing opponents’ ire for diving at their legs for loose balls.
Hawks radio broadcaster Steve Holman, to his listeners during Game 4, when the Cavs’ Dellavedova arrived at the scorer’s table: “Tonya Harding checking in.”
From Fark.com, after Felix Hernandez got rocked for seven runs: “Yankees embarrass the king. This is not a repeat from 1783.”;
Times reader Bill Littlejohn, after Dolphins kicker Caleb Sturgis injured himself playing kickball: “Isn’t that like Arthur Rubinstein injuring his hand while playing ‘Chopsticks’?”
Someone paid Ticketmaster $36,843 for a courtside seat to Game 1 of the NBA Finals, ESPN reported.
So what does $40,000 get you — a ticket, three beers and parking?
Giants Steps
Dan Graziano (ESPNNY.com) wrote about Damontre Moore, “The Giants hired Steve Spagnuolo to replace Perry Fewell as defensive coordinator this past offseason, and Moore believes the move is a good thing for him and his role with the team. Moore struggled to find the field consistently in games during his first two seasons, mainly because the coaching staff didn’t believe it could trust him to know and execute the schemes without making too many mistakes. Moore has been an impact player on special teams, but his inconsistency in practice, according to Fewell and head coach Tom Coughlin, held them back from offering him more opportunities as a defensive player.
Moore said he got nothing but support from the Giants’ coaching staff when he told them he wanted to stay in Texas and take classes this offseason. They all believe he has plenty of time to get up to speed. He had 5.5 sacks in limited duty last season, and his speed and athleticism should help him add to that total this season. He needs to refine his work in the run game and find ways to stay disciplined in order to continue getting opportunities.
But it’s worth noting that Moore is five months younger, right now, than the defensive end the Giants drafted in the third round this year. Those who have been frustrated with the pace of his development so far would do well to remember how young he still is — and not to give up hope that he might yet turn out to be a good NFL player”
Lingering Thoughts
No matter what’s written, I still think that Tom Thibodeau is the best b-ball coach out there.
Molinaro Maranara
Bob Molinaro (Hampton Roads Pilot) wrote, “Hoops du jour: While waiting for the start of the NBA Finals, I’ll tread lightly around the sports talk radio dial, lest I come across one more tiresome, played-out pseudo debate over whether – after five consecutive Finals appearances – LeBron James is fit to lick Michael Jordan’s Nikes. Callers of a certain k connection.
The French Open is well under way, but the tennis-related TV item bemusing me is the ad for a prescription medicine to combat toenail fungus featuring John McEnroe. I call a foot fault. Once both loved and hated for flouting authority, now that he’s toeing the line in an icky commercial, McEnroe deserves to be on the receiving end of his trademark phrase: “You cannot be serious!”
If you look closely, you can see that Rafael Nadal wears a watch on his right wrist during matches. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because he’s double-parked outside the stadium. He’s promoting the bling, of course. But not for a general audience, not even a snooty tennis crowd. The limited-edition Swiss- made watch retails for $850,000.”