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Thoughts From the Couch - 5.28.12
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

That which is understood doesn't need to be explained.

To those who serve, have served, and - most importantly - have fallen: Thank You.

 

 

 

Storminnorman's Sports Blog 5-27-12
Category: FEATURED

 

Hello Gabbers, would have been here sooner but they have been working the shit out me the past week, and I fell a sleep last night before I could put my blog together. In 1982, after graduating from high school I enlisted in the United States Navy, and left for sunny Orlando, Florida to attend boot camp. After Boot Camp, I attended tech school in Meridian, Mississippi, where I learned about racism first hand.

 

 

I then attended submarine school in New London, Connecticut, and then it was off to my first duty station aboard to the USS Pintado (SSN-672) which was at that time in Honolulu, Hawaii. We returned to another beautiful place San Diego, California where I finished my tour of duty. In 1984, I went to the North Pole and missed the World Series in which the Tigers won. I guess the good thing that came out of that year, was  how may can say they have been to the North Pole?

 

I remember a young Tony Gwynn at the beginning of his Hall of Fame career, along with Nolan Ryan and Joe Niekro and a young Ryan Sandberg. I seen Dan Fouts, Charlie Joiner and Kellen Winslow, too bad his kid did not turn out that good. I remember the Padres, Chargers and yes even the Clippers. What I remember the most about the Clippers is that they were not very good, and their indoor soccer team had more sell-outs than they did.

But sports is not as important tomorrow, as remembering our troops and those who have served and died for our country. We should remember those who were sent to a needless war, and died for their country because of the selfishness of our former President. Happy Memorial Day Gabber,s and to those who have served and or have family members who are serving our country. Remember the vets who have served and died in previous wars, as they are our fallen heroes......

 

Memorial Day
Category: User Showcase

I was very fortunate in that I served in the United States Navy for 22 years and the worst I ever got was sprained ankles from participating in sporting events.  The closest I came to a casualty was an acquaintance who passed during a liberty incident in Australia.  So for me to wax eloquent on the subject of the real meaning of Memorial Day -- I honestly cannot do them justice, but I would like to try.

 

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am naive in my view of America.  I believe that it is an experiment in living within the rule of law and allowing the people to dictate how their government runs.  We must be doing something right because many fight to get here.  The experiment is still evolving, but there would not even be an experiment if it wasn't for the brave souls who have served, and the braver still who gave their lives in the line of duty -- keeping America free.

 

 

It just came to mind that we are approaching the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway in just one week, which means that the vast majority of World War II survivors are approaching their 90th Birthday.  It's been said many times before, but we need to take the time to recognize the few remaining veterans of World War II and very soon Korea.  THIS IS OUR LAST CHANCE!!!

 

 

If you get time, catch what I consider to be one of the better shows that airs.  It will be on tonight at 8PM on the West Coast on PBS!

 

Before you start with the MLB triple-header, the BBQ, the pool, or whatever, PLEASE take the time on Monday to think about those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.  Perhaps even attend a parade or service.

 

My one final honor to those who have fallen:

 

 

 

GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

This Week In Small Market Baseball - 5-27-12
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Baltimore Orioles Houston Astros Tampa Bay Rays Boston Red Sox

 

Memorial Day weekend is an important time for Americans. We strive to thank those who have fought for our freedoms and protected everything that we hold dear. It is also a time for families to come together and celebrate the kick-off of the summer season. And finally, it is a great weekend for America’s pastime, with the first two months of the season coming to a close and the real meat and potatoes of the playoff push officially starting here.

 

So with that in mind, Happy Memorial Day to all and let’s talk some baseball!

 

 

 

-          When a player has the albatross of being trade bait hung around his neck, it can be a bit much. But when said player is having the best season of his career, it makes the bait all the sweeter for the big fish to bite on. Such is the case with the Houston Astros and Wandy Rodriguez. The Astros are playing tremendous baseball, especially considering where they were a season ago, but in a division with the Cardinals and Reds, they don’t have any true designs on postseason baseball. Rodriguez is tremendous asset to them, but knowing that he’s currently enjoying a 4-4 record with the fourth best ERA in the majors at 2.14, and the best strike-out to walk ratio of his career, the Astros may consider trading the 33-year-old at the deadline in order to continue their rebuilding process. Rodriguez does have a $13 million guarantee for next season and a $13 million option with $2.5 buyout in 2014, so Houston will need to find the right trade partner, but when he is performing the way he is, it makes swallowing that contract a bit easier.

 

-          Without checking first, can anyone name the major league leader in the hits category? Josh HamiltonDerek Jeter? Nope, it is Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants who has stroked a cool 69 base knocks through 47 games to start the 2012 season. With 22 of those being for extra bases, which helps lead to a .531 slugging percentage of the Giants outfielder, the Giants are definitely getting more bang for their buck when they trades lefty Jonathan Sanchez to Kansas City for the Melk Man.

 

-          It is Memorial Day weekend and the Orioles are in first place. I just had to say it out loud because it just didn’t feel right.

 

-          Has there been a team in baseball that has shown more of an ill-effect from an off-season loss than the Milwaukee Brewers? At 19-27, the Brewers stand over the lonely Cubs in the National League Central race, this after winning the division by 6 games a year ago. The loss of Prince Fielder can be felt throughout the line-up, but you can tell the presence Fielder had in the clubhouse is missed more. The Brewers lack the leader to step forward and pull them out of the funk they are in and it is readily apparent that Ryan Braun is not the leader the club needs.

 

-          On one last note, the Red Sox and Rays got into it on Friday night when they exchanged hit batsmen, with Dustin Pedroia and Luke Scott getting plunked in the game. Scott took exception when he got hit, the second time this season by a Red Sox pitcher and started toward the mound. Perhaps this was due more to Scott’s outspoken comments during the offseason where he called out Red Sox fans for taking over opposing ballparks and their general rudeness. He also stated that he was happy to see their faces when his Orioles eliminated Boston a season ago. Either way, one of these teams is going to use this as fuel for the remainder of the season, but there is no doubt that the Red Sox and Rays will continue to be a drama fueled rivalry for the remainder of the season.

 

P.S. – Hey Look, Jared Saltalamacchia is a big dude and you aren’t getting around him, Wolverine sideburns or not.

 

 

 

*Thank you to Baseball-Reference.com for the stats!

Happy Memorial Day and The Danica
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Danica Patrick NASCAR

Welcome, Howdy, Good day and Happy Memorial Day Gabbers and others!!!!! Just want to start out by saying thank you to ALL the fine men and woman of our armed forces who have served, are serving and will be serving this great Nation. Due to all their efforts I am allowed to sit at this key board to be a pontificating sports fan, wax poetic over my most handsome Knight of the Mobile1 Sir Stewart, yell pitting instructions to the crew chief through my TV, be an armchair QB or whatever I'm dreaming of on any particular day. Thank you for making my life possible. I have several uncles and cousins who have served. My Uncle Sherlock has his name on a plaque in the middle of town that has the names of all who served from here in WWll. Tomorrow we celebrate with picnics and family dinners. Hope all of you have a great one.

So that leads us to The Danica. Danica Patrick that is. I'm not sure what she's trying to accomplish but the hype has her squarely up front and center on every racing journalists question list and broadcasting booths on air banter. Every race she's in there's a Danica watch. One part saucy poster girl model and one part race car driver. Is she worth the hype? Is she trying to be a model or a serious race car driver or is she just trying to make the most money she can, have fun doing it and simply be famous for being famous just like the other poster girls Paris and KK? My jury is still out on that one.

Danica was born 3-3-82 in Beloit, Wisconsin to parents TJ and Bev. She has 1 sister named Brook. From all accounts Danica had a normal love of all things girlie including Barbie dolls. Until at age 10 she and her sister were given go-kart lessons. Danica became hooked. Her sister Brook? Not so much. So it was off to join the WKA for Danica. That would be the World Karting Association. By 1994 she won the WKA Grand National Championship in the Yamaha Sportsman Class. She also took 1995 & 1996 as well. Her final year in kart was 1997 and she won both the Yamaha Lite and HPV Class Championships.

In 1998 she moved to the UK to join the Formula Vauxhall Winter Series. While competing in this she made trips to Canada to spend time at the Formula Ford Racing School. 

In 1999 she had her fulltime racing debut in the UK finishing 9th.

In 2000 her 2nd full season she finished 2nd at Formula Ford Festival. The best finish ever by an American at the British event.

In 2001 it was her last year in the UK.She won the Gorsline Scholarship Award for Top Upcoming Road Racing Driver. Also competed in the British Zetek Formula Ford Championship.

In 2002 she shopped around for an Indycar team and was signed by Team Rahal Letterman of the Indycar Racing League. She spent a couple years in the lower series Toyota Atlantic Series to prep for the higher competition level that is the Indycar series. When in 2003 she finally won a pole position and a podium position it was decided she'd be promoted to an Indycar.

In 2004 She placed 3rd in the Toyota Atlantic Championship.

In 2005 at the Indy 500 she was the fastest driver during pole runs and entered the record books as the first woman to lead in the Indy 500. She led 19 laps and finished in 4th.

In 2006 she signed with Andretti Green Racing.

In 2007 she scored 3 podium positions. Finished the season with 4 top 5's, 11 top 10's and a 7th in the Indycar points.

In 2008 saw Danica in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She also scored her first win in the Indycar series. The first ever by a woman at Twin Ring Montegi Japan 300. In the closing laps all the top drivers had to pit for fuel. Danica passed Castroneves for the win on lap 189 of 200 for that win. Finishing order...Patrick - Castroneves - Dixon - Wheldon - Kanaan.

In 2010 while still driving fulltime in Indycar Danica made her NASCAR debut in the Nationwide series at the Daytona 500 in the Go-Daddy #7. She started 13 races that year for a 28.0 average finish. She finished 10th in the Indycar points.

In 2011 she was still fulltime in Indycar but visiting NASCAR for JR Motorsports (Dale Earnhardt Jr's Nationwide team) in the Go-Daddy #7 for 12 Nationwide starts that led to a 17.4 average finish. She also finished 10th in the Indycar points.

In 2012 we have The Danica in her first official fulltime ride in the Nationwide series for JR Motorsports in the Go-Daddy #7 and a limited schedule for Cup in the Go-Daddy #10 for Stewart Haas Racing. So far she has 1 top 10 with an average finish of 20.8 in the 10 Nationwide races she's been in. 

So now The Danicks has made it fulltime to NASCAR. She finished 12th at Darlington in the Nationwide Series and 31st & 6 laps down with the Cup guys the next night and that's saying something. The track was built when the cars went 100 mph but now they go 180 mph. The wall claims a lot of cars or sheet metal till the race is over so finishing that race I'd say was a big accomplishment. This past week she raced in Iowa but a tire blew on lap 113 and ended her day in 30th. She's now 10th in the Nationwide points.

I really am not sure how that looks given the fact that the Cup drivers can race in the Nationwide series but can't collect points. The Cup drivers have won or been in the top 10 the most. There are big point gaps between the drivers in the Naitionwide points series because of this. Ricky Stenhouse Jr is 1st with 412 points and Elliot Sadler is 2nd with 378 points. Compared to the Cup Series it's Greg Biffle in 1st with 411 points and Brad Keselowski in 2nd with 409 points. We're talking 34 points between 1st and 2nd in NNW as opposed to 2 points between 1st and 2nd in the Cup. This is how much the Cup drivers dilute the points standing in the Nationwide series.

Now our Danica report wouldn't be complete without a dust up between her and another driver. It came at Talladega. At the last lap she was fighting for position with Sam Hornish Jr and they got into each other. After the race was over and during the cool down lap she drove up behind Sam and hit his bumper pushing him into the wall. He said he had a tire going down that's why he drifted up into her during the race and she scraped the wall. She said she didn't try to put him in the wall after the race. Danica finished 13th and Sam finished 12th. Both were called to the Hauler to talk about the incident. Both say they talked on the phone afterwards and everything is ok.

So Danica has been logging laps and seems to be genuinely happy with here progress as of now. Tony Stewart has chosen the toughest tracks for her to run in the Cup series with the big dawgs and he's made no secret that he did so to help her learning process. He doesn't expect great results. If she's under any pressure it's not showing. Since she's not doing double duty between Indycar and NASCAR I expect she'll be doing much better by the end of the season. The Indycars and stock cars are way different as well as all the traveling between series won't be such a distraction any more. 

Well now Gabbers and others, it's up to you to decide if she's the real deal or a poser. Weigh in below or just mull it over during your grilling duties this weekend. In any event.....

You all have an awesome and safe holiday weekend.......

 

 

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