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Deep Thoughts
Category: FEATURED
Tags: More Winter Dez Bryant Curt Schilling Playing to lose

 

Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. Okay, I get it…those couple of nice weeks we had in February was just Mother Nature’s practical joke. I know that I won’t get any sympathy from my friends up north…but damn our weather has sucked. I may have to go looking for that damn armadillo that predicted an “early” spring and give it a swift kick. This is how we do snow in Texas:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The snow in north Texas had Ranger and Murray State scrambling for a new venue to play their scheduled baseball games…and San Antonio turned out to be the selected solution. Last Thursday, Julie and I took off an hour early from work and jumped on the toll road for a quick trip. The weatherman forecast a high of 59, but as usual...he was not all that close. We managed to find the field and walk up just as Blake rapped a base hit to left field. We huddled down in the stands and realized that it was freaking cold. Yeah…I know mid 40s is not all that cold…but with that wind gusting to 30 degrees, it was miserable. We managed to watch almost an hour of baseball, before we decided to go eat. I am sorry…baseball is not much fun when it is cold. Surely…the sun will shine again soon?

 

 

 

Image result for the media guilty until proven innocent

 

 

Can I ask a question? How can a reporter go on a talk show and talk about Dez Bryant assaulting a woman when there is zero proof that an assault has happened? Instead of being shamed for bringing this unproven story out, he simply ignores the lack of facts and discusses a video, that may not even exist. Hey, if any guy assaults a woman…he deserves the harshest punishment possible. But don't we need some proof before we judge? Is responsible journalism simply a thing of the past? What I have read about this story is that there is no evidence that Dez Bryant did anything wrong. The police investigated and found no wrong doing. But, supposedly…there is a Walmart video tape lurking. The funny thing is that the statute of limitations for misdemeanor assault in Texas is 2 years. This incident happened 4 years ago…what gives with this? I suppose that it may take slander charges being brought up against the media for some of these clowns to get it. We only have to look back to the Patriot incident with the deflated balls to realize why it is important to get the facts before reporting an event. What a joke…but that is the NFL today. Here are the details in the Bryant situation:

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/02/26/nfl-media-releases-2011-wal-mart-incident-report-involving-dez-bryant/?ocid=Yahoo&partner=ya5nbcs

 


 

 

Image result for playing to lose

 

 

 

I read a story this week that just had me shaking my head…two high school girls basketball teams had both made the playoffs, but the loser of their game would be seeded in a less competitive bracket. According to reports…both teams were obviously trying to lose. One player was actually trying to shoot at the other team’s basket, but was stopped only because of a 10 second violation. When the school administrator has to come out of the stand to encourage the head coach to win the game…it is pretty damn bad. I read things like this and wonder how coaches have strayed so far from the purpose of team sports. This is unreal: http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/02/riverdale-smyrna-tanking-high-school

Whatever happened to playing to win the game?

The good news is that both teams were deemed ineligible. Now, that is how you make a statement! Hats off to whomever made that decision.

 

 


 

 

Image result for curt schilling

 

 

I understand that Curt Schilling is sort of an annoying guy. He has never been afraid to give his opinion and frequently is pretty obnoxious about it. Apparently, a couple of fans took to twitter to batter Schilling, but stepped over the line when they began to speak sexually about Schilling’s 17 year old daughter. After a bit of research, Schilling found out the real life identities of the twitter trolls and made the information public. Sean McDonald and Adam Nagle found out the hard way exactly what can happen when you act the fool on twitter. McDonald was fired from his ticket sales position with the New York Yankees and Nagle was suspended by the Community College that he attends. I ask again…when will people learn that too much twitter is a bad thing? Just because you can be a douche bag, does not mean you should.

 

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/yankees-fire-employee-who-harassed-curt-schilling-about-his-daughter-184408267.html

 

That’s all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…

 

For mad scientists who keep brains in jars, here's a tip: why not add a slice of lemon to each jar, for freshness?

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

 

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…

 

 

 

Buzz from the Bleachers
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

Welcome to Wednesday, Gabbers. The cold is coming back. I’m looking out at rain as I write and really hope it won’t be ice by morning. We’re expected to get colder temps and more snow. That isn’t bothering too much right now, as I have two distractions.

I got a chance to stop by the library here in Coraopolis. I hadn’t had the time or opportunity to check in yet. I found some good stuff. I got myself a book on the Pirates to get up to speed on the history of the franchise. I figure the Pirates are not a bad team to be my National League team. They have a great history and some quirky traditions. Even before Randall Simon ruined it, the Pierogi Race has been a time honored event here. I also found a memoir of an Ernest Hemmingway trip to Africa where he outlines his passion for the outdoors and his take on writing. I’m pretty sure Hemmingway should be the reference picture when you look up “man” in the dictionary. He really was a great example of a warrior poet.

Second spring games have started across the south and southwest. The Pirates started a series against the Blue Jays. They faced Russell Martin for the first time in a Blue Jays uniform. In something of an unpolished affair, the Buccos won 8-7. Pedro Alvarez is going to be asked to play first for the Pirates this year. The hope is his bat will make up for the shaky defense, well, and that his bat will stay hot. Alvarez has been a bit streaky the past two seasons, earning himself time on the bench. His three run home run was a welcome sight. The Pirates did sign Corey Hart, formerly of the rival Brewers and Seattle, as insurance and flexibility.

The Pirates also made a move to get the rights and sign Jung-Ho Kang from the Korean Baseball Organization. Kang will be in competition at short stop with Jodi Mercer. He got off to a good start with a home run today. If Josh Harrison can maintain the success he enjoyed last season, the Pirates infield could be something to see at the plate and on the field.

Further hidden in this contest is the fact that the Blue Jays had signed Johan Santana to a minor league deal. The Jays have started a training program with the oft-injured lefty. Santana hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2012. He went to spring training with the Orioles last season, but suffered a torn Achilles and shoulder strain.

Ryan Howard is on the comeback trail as well. Howard has reportedly slimmed down about 15-20 pounds. This offseason has been tough on the organization and fans. Longtime staple Jimmy Rollins was dealt to the Dodgers. Rumors swirled about other longtime Phillies, including Howard. In spite of all this, Howard went out and delivered two hits today. Its baby steps, but a good sign. Howard also broke his silence with the media and spoke solely about how he has changed himself to help the team.

There was good news for Tigers fans as well today. Miguel Cabrerra got one at bat and one hit today, which hopefully signals he’ll be on track to start Opening Day. Kinsler looked good with a home run and 3 RBIs. New centerfielder Yoenis Cespedes got off to an amazing start with a grand slam. The Tigers rode that momentum to a 15-2 win. Kyle Lobstein looked impressive in his two innings as he battles for the final spot in the rotation. On the flip side, Yobaldo Jimenez continued to struggle today. He lasted 1.1 innings and gave up 5 earned runs.

Tomorrow should be interesting as Alex Rodriguez will make his debut. Expect boos and cat calls. Still, it should be interesting to see how Rodriguez gets back into the game.

That is all for this week. Thanks as always for stopping in.

QOTD - 3/4/15 Tags: MLB

MLB:  Recently, Bud Selig retired as the Commish.  What is your take on his contributions?

Musings From The Hoodwood 3-3...the latest spec sheet
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: College Basketball

This weeks column is dedicated to the enduring memory of my grandmother Lorene Hare (1925-1993) who was the foundation of Hoodwood before anyone really knew what it was or what it could be…

The countdown to selection Sunday is on 12 days…this is most intense time of the year. People always go crazy about the tourney, but it’s the mad scramble to get a dance invite in which I find the most fascinating. The games are more intense and the stakes are never higher. The mid-majors and smaller conferences are ramping up for their respective conference tourneys where in many conferences only one berth will be gained. With apologies to the holiday and football bowl season. This really is the most wonderful time of the year. There will also be listed the dates and locations of Conference tournaments and in coming days teams will start earning their tourney bids and these will be noted as well.

 

 

Atlantic Coast
Conference Class-Power
Going: Virginia, North Carolina, Louisville, Duke, Notre Dame
Hoping For The Best: Miami-FL, NC State, Pitt, Clemson
Skinny on the ACC:  Virginia becomes the first team not named Duke or UNC to win back to back ACC regular season titles since NC State in 1973-74 in spite of a horrid first half in the Carrier Dome. The hoping group all right now sit at .500 in the conference the schedule sits just perfect where these teams will face each other in the regular season and possibly in the first or second round of the ACC tourney so a lot could shake out here soon.

Key Games: NC State @ Clemson Tuesday 9p (ACC Net\ESPN Full Court) Miami @ Pitt Wednesday 9p (ACC Net\ESPN Full Court) These may very well be elimination games for the last ACC berth, The Pack head into Death Valley to face the Tigers first then the Miami has to deal with the rowdy Oakland Zoo, winner stay in contention, loser drop to in it to win it status

Projected Bids: 6

Atlantic Ten
Conference Class- Mid-Major
Solid Dayton,VCU

Work to do: UMass, Rhode Island, Davidson
The A-10 Spec is: Are the Rams in trouble? After the Flyers roll into Richmond and come out with a hard fought win, you might think so but there still a three way log jam atop the A-10. I still see only four coming out here though UMass is making a late if futile push

Key Games Rhode Island at Dayton U Tuesday 7p (CBSSN) Winner here is in the drivers seat for the top seed line in the A-10 tourney VCU at Davidson Thursday 9p (ESPNU)  If  Davidson win the log jam atop the A-10 goes to the final day if VCU wins they stay within striking distance of the A-10 lead but will need help to win it.

Projected Bids: 4

 

American

Conference Class-Major

Going SMU,  Tulsa, Cincy

Hoping For : Temple, UConn
 

All-American Spec: The American has three maybe four bids to garner and suddenly there are more teams than bids. SMU got zapped by UConn and are now out the American lead. Cincy is looking better as they have won their last three, they are tied with Temple and with UConn making a late push this conference is getting really messy and intriguing. Tulsa is now the king of the hill but now has a tough final pair of games; by sheer luck of schedule the top 6 teams in the conference are facing each other in some combination of their last two games
Key Game: Cincinnati at Tulsa Wednesday 9p (CBSSN) Suddenly thrust into the king of the hill role the Hurricane cant afford to look ahead to a high stakes showdown with SMU next Sunday as they first have to deal with a resurgent Bearcats squad who desperately want to stay out of the 4/5 quarterfinal tourney game slot

Projected Bids: 4

 



Big East 
Conference Class-Major
Solid: Villanova, Providence,  Butler

Work to do: Xavier, Georgetown, St. Johns
Big East Skinny: Nova went into Cincy and after spotting X a big lead stormed back for a conference clinching win, Providence is ranked and safe. Of the Muskies, Johnnies and Hoyas the former two are the safest. I just cant believe the hype the Hoyas are trying to sell especially after the Johnnies just housed them in MSG

Key Games: Georgetown at Butler Tuesday 7p (FS1) The Hoyas are running out of chances to make a good impression on the committee going to Hinkle and winning would go a long way to the end

Projected bids: 5

Big Ten 
Conference Class-Power
Solid: Wisconsin, Maryland, Purdue, Ohio State

Work to do: Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State
The word on the Big Ten is: I think that both the Boilers and Bucks are now safe, but I cant give a pass to Michigan State or Iowa. Indiana should be thankful that they are still on this list after their last shameful loss to Northwestern, they have alternated wins and losses since late January. That’s no way to impress the committee.

Key Game:  Iowa @ Indiana Tuesday 7p (BTN) Is this an elimination game? It just might very well be as both teams are squarely on the bubble.

Projected Bids: 5

Big 12
Conference Class-Power
Solid: Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Baylor, Iowa State
Work to do: Oklahoma State, Texas
Skinny from the heartland: Iowa State with a thrilling comeback over Oklahoma moves into 2nd here and to the opposite side of the Big 12 tourney bracket for the moment. Texas fans stop barking that they should be in, a grimy win over Baylor in OT at home doesn’t get you a move uptown, they will need to get at least to Saturday in Kansas City to get consideration. The Pokes are just about done after a shameful loss against cellar dwelling Texas Tech

Key Game: West Virginia at Kansas 9p (ESPN2) The Jayhawks can clinch the #1 seed in the Big 12 tourney with a win

Projected Bids: 5

 

Conference USA
Conference Class-Mid Major
Solid: Louisana Tech, Old Dominion
Work to do: UTEP
Oh Say Can You C-USA Spec: I took this conference off the big list, thinking it was a one bid but they could earn two bids. I think the Bulldogs are home free, meanwhile there is a massive log jam for the 2 spot to avoid LA Tech until the finale

Key Game: Southern Miss at LA Tech Sat 8p The Bulldogs can clinch the #1 seed in the C-USA with a win

Projected Bids: 2
 



Missouri Valley
Conference Class-Mid Major
Solid: Wichita State, Northern Iowa
Work to do: Evansville, Illinois State
Missouri Valley Skinny: The Shockers win the MVC regular season title and you can bet that the Panthers will be waiting for them next week in the Arch Madness finale

Missouri Valley Confernce Tournament: March 5-8 Scottrade Center St. Louis

Projected Bids: 2


Mountain West
Conference Class-Major
Solid: San Diego State, Boise State, Colorado State
Work to do: Wyoming
Spec from the Mountains: The safe teams are still just that, though Colorado State sits closer to the fence line than they would like but I still think that they are safe.

Key Game: Utah State at Wyoming Wednesday 9p Both teams need the win to get better seeding for the MWC tourney

Projected Bids: 4


Pacific 12
Conference Class-Power
Solid: Arizona, Utah, Oregon
Work to do: UCLA, Stanford, Oregon State
Spec from the left coast:  No real changes here, UCLA isn’t in and wont be at least until they make the Pac12 Semis in Vegas. Stanford is running out time and chances to impress and Oregon States meager chance may have evaporated after getting housed at Cal but then again…

Key Games: Oregon @ Oregon St Wednesday 11p (ESPNU) The Beavers have just about run out of chances but beating their hated in-state rivals might buy them more time short of winning the whole thing in Vegas

Projected Bids: 3



Southeastern 
Conference Class-Power
Solid: Kentucky, Arkansas
Work to do: LSU, Texas A&M, Georgia, Ole Miss
Spec is Down South:  No real change here, UK is marking time as a marked team. Arkansas is quality but just not ready and will be uite happy to sit opposite of the rampaging Cats until the finale in Nashville. 

Key Game: Kentucky at Georgia  9p Tonight (ESPN) Kentucky’s last true road game, the Dawgs instantly go uptown with the biggest resume win of them all.

Projected Bids: 4
 


West Coast 
Conference Class- Mid Major
Going: Gonzaga, BYU
Hoping for the Best: St. Mary’s
West Coast Spec:  Leave it to BYU, to throw a massive monkey wrench into the works. The Coogs rolled into the Kennel and handed the Bulldogs a bittersweet sendoff for the Gonzaga seniors and prevented a clean sheet WCC skein. The Coogs now have the momentum to steal a bid outright as WCC or least stay in the conversation legitimately as a contender for an at-large.

West Coast Conference Championship Tournament Mar 6-10 Orleans Arena, Las Vegas
Projected Bids: 2



There are others in the mix to be sure. Teams from the always dangerous (Projected winners in Parentheses) Colonial (UNC Wilmington) and Big South (Coastal Carolina) always are in the mix and can send multiple teams. Of course the champions from the following conferences get an automatic bid: Amer. East (Albany) , Atlantic Sun (Florida Gulf Coast), Big Sky (Sacramento State), Big West (Cal-Davis), Horizon (Valpo), Ivy (Harvard), MAC (Central Michigan), MAAC (Iona) , MEAC (North Carolina Central), Northeast (St. Francis), Ohio Valley (Murray State), Patriot (Bucknell), Southern (Wofford), Southland (Sam Houston St) , Sun Belt (Georgia St), Summit (South Dakota St) , and SWAC (Alabama State) WAC (New Mexico State)

Since this is still just spec, nothing here is solid and we haven't even brought up the possibility of upsets. But those never happen, right?

Next Update: Friday

 

 

QOTD - 3/3/15 Tags: NHL

NHL:  Have at it Hockey fan – who won at the trade deadline?  Who sucked?            

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