In 1968 I attended the University of Houston. It was an eventful year for me. As a student, I got to attend the regular season basketball game between the University of Houston and UCLA, which was held at the Astrodome. It was billed as “The Game of the Century” by the press, and 52,963 fans (including me) watched as the Cougars behind Elvin Hayes’ 39 points beat the Bruins and Lou Alcindor 71-69. Alcindor, whose eye was patched because of an injury, would avenge the defeat later in the year during the NCAA Tournament. It was not, however, my most memorable event at the Astrodome that year.
In April of 1968, I decided to hitch-hike from the Houston campus to the Astrodome to see my first ever MLB game between the Astros and the Cincinnati Reds. I sat in the left field bleachers, close to the playing field. Before the game started, Pete Rose was out in left field shagging balls. I finally got up the courage to talk to him.
“Pete why are you in left field? You won Rookie of the Year at second base in 1964.”
“Good question”, he answered. “What’s your name?”
“Harvey”, I answered.
“Well Harvey. Let me answer this way. I have never put on catcher’s gear in my life, but if they told me that the only way I could be in the starting line-up was to catch, I would be behind the plate right now. Get it?”
I got it. Pete talked to me between innings the entire game. He hit a double to drive in two runs and the Reds won 2-1.
At the game’s end Pete asked, “Well what do you think Harvey?”
I told Pete that, if the Astros had to lose, I was glad that it was him who beat us.
Pete smiled and asked what my last name was. I told him.
“We are coming back in June for a weekend series against you guys. I will leave four tickets for you at will-call for the Saturday game. I hope that you can come.”
June finally did come and I told a friend about the incident with Pete. My friend really did not believe me, but we took a couple of girls with us to make four. I assured my friend (since he was driving) that I would pay for the tickets if they were not at will-call.
The tickets were there at will-call for me, just as Pete had said. On the envelope was a message from Rose. “Glad you could make it Harvey. I have bad news. We are going to beat your team again! ---Pete”
My only excuse for not saving that note was how was I to know that He would one day be the all-time hits leader?
With an introduction to MLB baseball like that, no wonder it is my favorite sport!
Randy Johnson, The Big Unit, was as intense a baseball player as ever stood on the pitcher’s mound. Hardly anyone remembers that he actually played for the Houston Astros for half a season in 1998. He pitched in 11 games and had a 10-1 record. His ERA was 1.28 and he stuck out 116 batters in 84 innings. The Astros won their division that year but lost in the first round of the playoffs. Randy pitched and lost two games, giving up just three runs while his team supported him with only one run.
Randy has mellowed considerably since he has retired, as evidenced by the photo above taken at the Phoenix Open Pro-Am on Wednesday. It seems like Randy had a stalker who followed him for the entire match. Security came and they did not know which Randy Johnson to eject, so they left them both alone.
Tim Tebow won the closest to the hole contest on # 16. The guy is a pretty good golfer, as is Randy Johnson. Being 6’10” you would guess that Randy would have a hard time keeping it all together. You would be wrong. His golf swing is nice. It helps to explain how he finally got his act together in MLB.
114,000 came out for the Thursday starting day of The Phoenix Open, a new record for the first day of any golf tournament. It is supposed to rain Friday and Saturday. It may affect the size of the crowds but not their spirit. A fun time is had by all. Be sure to watch. The par 3 16th hole is like a mini Fenway Park. Don’t believe me? Watch and see.
It has also been said the Randy does not like to talk about the pigeon episode when he demolished a bird in mid-flight. This is not true, as evidenced by his business card as Randy Johnson-Photographer.
So much stuff is going on here in Phoenix in regards to the Super Bowl, that it is hard to follow it all. The golf tournament rocks every night at its Bird’s Nest venue, Kid Rock and Darius Rucker are just two acts playing this weekend. Downtown Phoenix is abuzz with free stuff to do at the NFL Experience. Scottsdale has all those parties for the Jet-setters, and Glendale has concerts like Los Lobos for free. Katy Perry is already there practicing with a bunch of high school kids (Shhh…it’s a secret). ESPN is broadcasting from Scottsdale every day and Camelback Mountain is in the background. Nobody cares about deflate-gate and that’s the way it should be.
THE CONVEX COINS
I saw these coins were going to be minted at the U.S. Mint and my jaw dropped. I thought, wow these are going to be neat. Then I learned that they were already released last year and the proceeds went to Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. There were gold coins, silver coins, and non-precious metal coins. It is a neat design with the baseball on the front and a baseball glove on the cupped side on the reverse. How did I ever miss this? Am I the only one who is clueless in Phoenix?
When I was younger, I took a trip by car that took me through New York City. I scheduled the drive through NY City for 6 AM on a Sunday Morning. I drove by Yankee Stadium (it was 1976) and I swear that my heart started beating hard when I saw the old building that all those famous Yankees had played at. I parked my car and walked up and touched the stadium walls. The hairs on my arms were electrified from the experience. How could they ever have torn that place down? The history of baseball was contained in its ancient walls. What a shame.
High on my bucket list is a visit to Cooperstown. I know that my health will ultimately deny me, but what a magical place it must be. All the greats of baseball are there, save a select few who should be. Pete Rose is on my list as a player who should be there, if only for the kindness he showed to a young baseball fan almost 50 years ago. He made that boy a lifetime fan of the game.
Thanks for the read. If you want, you can leave a comment or two on the way out. Please don’t forget to check out IHM, my partner in crime on Fridays--->.
Hello ladies and gents and welcome to this week’s Grumble with IHM. This has been a real up and down week for yours truly; found out I didn’t make the cut on a few job opportunities, but then got a few calls and a few more interviews set up after that! I’m writing all of this on Wednesday as opposed to Thursday because Thursday is a day full of interviews, and I’m not 100% sure if I’m going to get a shot at getting back online before Friday morning to get something posted. All that said, this is going to be as extreme a grumble as you’ll see this year; I am good and pissed off about a number of things, so let’s get right to it!
Last weekend during all the pissing, bitching, and moaning about Brady’s balls something else happened; new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred did an interview with ESPN, and what I heard was pure idiocy! Essentially, the guy wants to tailor the game more towards kids, speed things up, and eliminate defensive shifts. So… you want to speed the game up by putting defenses at a disadvantage and “helping the offenses”… despite the fact that the fastest games on record have all been pitching duels and defensive contests, usually very low scoring? Right. Somebody buy this fuckwit a clue please… I see the game went from a bad pair of hands (Selig) to worse (Manfred).
In my opinion, speeding up the game of baseball is a gigantic mistake. Anybody that knows anything about the game knows if you’re going to sit and watch an entire game, you’ve invested at least 3-4 hours of your time. What the hell is a pitch clock going to do, shave ten, fifteen minutes off of that? Meanwhile, you’re rushing a pitcher, which will likely lead to more offensive production. Eliminate shifts? That helps the offense too… more offensive production, longer fucking games. I remember when hockey implemented a bunch of new rules to “increase scoring” and “make the game more exciting” too… didn’t work out so well. Neither will any of this garbage. Leave the damn game alone, it is perfect the way it is! If some little twat can’t put his smart phone down long enough to pay attention to a baseball game, then fuck him!
As for eliminating shifts, how about teaching guys how to do something other than pull the damn ball? If you don’t like shifts… beat the fucking shift. Do it enough, and they’ll knock that shit off. It’s all fair, and it’s all part of the game. Shifts have been around forever… maybe not as extreme as they are now, but even Ted Williams, one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game, faced a certain type of shift every time he came up to bat. Guess what… he didn’t cry about it, he just hit the damn ball where they weren’t!
I agree with one thing… attracting kids to the game is important. But catering to these little fuckwits that can’t sit still long enough to pay attention to a game isn’t going to make your real, actual fans happy! Remember them… the people that actually pay admission and buy all your merchandise? And another thing… the best way to attract new fans is to have competitive balance, which the game has plenty of already. The #1 way to bring in a crowd is to have a team winning… look at Kansas City this year. They went from the bottom of the league to near the top because the team started winning. People are fickle, fair weather, bandwagon jumping fucking mush heads… if a team in their area is winning, you’d better believe that tickets will sell!
What really needs to be done is to put some of the owners out there under a fucking microscope! Like Jeffery Lauria of the Marlins, Ron Fowler in San Diego, Stuart Sternberg in Tampa Bay, Lew Wolff in Oakland, etc., who spend as little as possible to field a winning team, yet never seem to get negative press about it outside their own regions. Put the screws to asshats like this… if they don’t like it, they can sell their teams to someone who will try to field a winner. Trust me, a decade or so ago I would have said the same damn thing about Mike Illitch… who has since opened his pocketbook and produced a team that has been to two World Series in a decade and draws an average of 3 million fans in one of the poorest cities in America!
Some sad news in the world of baseball, which was well covered earlier this week by both BlackBandit and Jeff, with the passing of Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks at the age of 83. Banks was a true ambassador of the game, and exactly the kind of man you’d want your kids to grow up to be like. Despite all the obstacles Banks faced, he was a positive man, a man who refused to let hate rule his life, and a man who overcame with grace and dignity. Ernie Banks retired with 512 career home runs, mostly as a SS, won two MVPs, a Gold Glove, and led a loaded National League in home runs twice (going up against the likes of Musial, Mays, and Aaron). Rest in peace “Mr.Cub”… and let’s hope the boys you meet up with upstairs are ready to play two!
In the other MLB story this week, the Yankees are attempting to avoid paying home run bonuses to Alex Rodriguez, claiming the milestone home run bonuses are no longer valid because of A Fraud’s PED use. No shit… and you knew about it when you signed this fool the first time; let alone when you gave him a second fucking contract. Get over it Yankees… and pay the man the money you owe him. And when this dirty fuck passes a great man like Willie Mays seven home runs into this season, you’d better be ready to ante up again! Of course, you could always do the sport a favor and make this tool a $30 million a year bench decoration… you know… since you’re suddenly worried about integrity!
You know who I’d love to see take a fucking brick to the jaw? Dick Sherman… who else! This asshat was at it again… running his fucking mouth, claiming the Patriots are cheaters and that Roger Goodell’s relationship with Robert Kraft is a “conflict of interest”. Newsflash dumb shit… Roger Goodell WORKS for Robert Kraft… and for YOUR owner, Paul Allen! Just because Kraft is more active in the day to day working of the league doesn’t mean he garners any more favor from Goodell. Yes, they have a closer relationship… because they work together all the time. Your owner simply writes checks and cashes checks when the profits roll in… not a damn thing wrong with that, but when you chose not to be a part of the governing of the game, that’s how it goes. As for your stance on cheating… how about that failed PED test from a year ago you somehow weaseled your way out of? Take it somewhere else, junior… and hope that elbow feels better for Sunday!
As for the media at the Super Bowl… what in the blue hell is going on with this band of freaks? All the stupid questions… all the idiots rephrasing the same fucking question and asking it even though a guy JUST FUCKING ANSWERED THAT! No wonder Marshawn Lynch doesn’t want to talk to you fools! So Lynch shows up, does his mandatory five minutes… answering every single question with the same “I’m only here so I don’t get fined” response (classic, by the way)… and the guy STILL might get fined because he chose to wear the wrong fucking hat! What the hell NFL? Give this guy a fucking break! If you want to fine him for something, fine him for the on-field dick grabbing when he scores a TD! But honestly… this has gone from a few guys asking questions to a complete and total freak show! And for what… so you can get a few stock quotes… maybe a few weird answers… it’s all just pure stupidity. A classroom of fourth graders would do a better job than the bunch of fucking hacks we consider “the media” these days.
As for the media hacks… they’re still harping on balls. Still bringing it up… still going on and on and on and on and fucking on about it. THIS is why I pay zero attention to anything NFL the week before the Super Bowl… it’s nothing but garbage. Usually these whores find one thing, grab ahold of it, and don’t let it the fuck go for a week. This shit is going on two weeks now! Impressive attention span… really… but the majority of the people I know could not give a fuck less! Maybe read your audience instead of telling us what you think we want to hear! Maybe report actual news instead of trying to fucking create it, better yet!
As for the actual game… bet anybody out there that there isn’t a single fucking endorser who has left the NFL… especially during Super Bowl season! Even if the NFL hadn’t gone on its’ bullshit apology spree… fired Ray Rice… suspended Greg Hardy, Adrian Peterson, et all… these fuckers will still pay to endorse their products during NFL games because it isn’t about principles… it is about getting your product and your fucking message in front of the biggest audience possible. This is why I hate phony outrage… phony apologies. Companies are STILL paying record amounts for thirty seconds of airtime during the game… companies are STILL trying to put together their best ad of the year for this weekend… companies are STILL sponsoring the stupid halftime show!
This PC era needs to come to a close… and quick… because it is driving me bat shit crazy! It isn’t the league’s fault that maybe ten players out of 1,696 fuck up and either get a DUI, beat their spouse or kid, get caught with some fucking pot. Compare that to everyday people in that age range… it is a comparatively LOW percentage! I really wish someone, somewhere would tell these PC assholes with their faux outrage where to go and which orifice to shove it into whence they arrive at their destination! Seriously… if the NFL had told all these “women’s rights” twats to go sit on a fucking cactus, what would have been the backlash? Less women watching football? Oh no… that’d cut their ratings by… maybe… 5%? Not even a fucking drop in the fucking bucket! We REALLY need to quit trying to fucking appease everybody in this country… it is fucking KILLING US! Every time one group or another gets butt hurt, someone fucking jumps to appease them. Unless it is something fucking extreme, walk it off junior. If not, go cry to someone who cares… and keep it the fuck down, I’m trying to watch the game here!
My pick for the Bowl of Superiority, BTW, I’ll take the Patriots 33-24 over the Seahawks. Brady wins the MVP award, and Dick Sherman gets a cocksucker full of humble pie!
That’s all the rant I have in me for today folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any commentary you provide below… and have a great weekend Gabbers! Be sure to stop in and check out my pal Harvey to the left there… guaranteed to be the best blog of the day or your money back!
We are merely days away from an epic sporting event yes the Pro Football Championship Game . The talk of deflated footballs and the phoney disgust has gotten to me. Troy Aikman I’m talking about You, and Yes Mark Brunell you as well. Ray Lewis just join that party. All you self centered pundits from ESPN you to. All you self anointed keepers in the game the media you too. A few under pressured footballs isn’t like I don’t know beating a child, or Kicking the crap out of your wife in elevator. It’s not even as bad as being in a Limo while your thug buddies murder a dude. But hey who I ‘m I to make any kind of judgement on any of these small people.
The facts folks are the NFL has nothing they investigated,potential wrong doing and came away with nothing. They hired Ted Wells it’s a smoke screen because they have nothing. How can I say that it is simple Bill Belichick doesn’t call a press conference on Saturday and explain PSI far better than Bill Nye the science guy. Bill the Football Coach has Robert the paper guy who has lots of paper to hire real like MIT scientists to conduct such expierements. Speaking of Robert the paper guy he doesn’t come out and shoot one over General Roger Cornwallis Goodells bow without knowing the outcome. The NFL has nothing.
Perhaps, Cornwallis Goodell needs to conduct a little internal investigation on who in his office is liking stuff to Bob Kravitz. Bob whio is your source...you started this whole ridicoulous thing . How did the office let under inflated balls into the game if they actually inspected them. Who told Jay Glazier about twinkles the ball boy. You all know twinkles. He was the kid that stopped with the footballs and took a leak. 90 seconds I belief he took a leak couldn’t deflate 12 balls in 90 seconds. He can’t get back in with out some leakage in his draws in 90 seconds. Not tobe confused with the Leakage from the league. He is more the embrassing type leakage especially if he was wearing light colored pants.
Interactive Part of The Show
All Gabbers grab 12 balls from around your house grab an inflation pin have them good now head off to your bathroom.Are you in the bathroom with your balls and your pin? Ok now as you are taking a piss, control your urination system while trying to deflate the 12 balls you just brought in there with you make sure your timing it as well. For females try it sitting you’ll have more success than your male counter parts. Don’t forget to wash your hands when finished.
Unfortunately Twinkles is going to take the fall when the investigation concludes in March or April and they will fine the Patriots, fire Twinkles and discipline the officiating crew. Lets face it this is a witch hunt outside 5 and half New England states (only have of CT) America hates the Patriots. Sounds pretty un Patriotic too me.Of course if this was the Vikings wait they had a scandal while leave them out of course their rogue makes millions unlike Twinkles who makes Hundreds. Ditto for the Ravens. Yeah Suh is all I can say about the Lions. I know how about some of the other most hated teams in the NFL the Cowboys people hated them because they were good Yeah I’ll even give Troy credit.
So we will go to the Raiders if they were accused of underinflating balls no one would give two shits . Same thing with all the other teams.
If this was the Cowboys in their heyday or the Steelers the pitch forks would be out for them as well. Let’s face it we hate teams that win consistently over time. Raise your hands Yankee haters, My hand is going up on the Montreal Canadiens and The Pittsburgh Penguins. Come on Celtic Haters or Laker Haters or Bulls Haters. You all know why? you hate these teams because you want somebody else. Because they have been there year after year, Look how much hate was spun toward the King and the Miami Heat up goes my hand.
I’m a Patriots Fan and a season ticket holder and I’m damn proud of it. I went to my first Patriots game in 1971 and watched them play the Chicago Bears in a preseason game. I have lived through Jim Plunkett, Steve Grogan, Jim Nance, John Hannah, Mike Hynes , Stanley Morgan, Hugh Millen I even endured friggin I.M. Hipp I have scene this team suck so bad that NFL Films used more footage of them in the Football Follies than anybody else.
I cried when that piece of dirt Jack Tatum parylized Daryl Stingley. I’m a Patriot and Damn proud of it so going into their 8th Superbowl . the rest of America can kiss my Patriotic ass. I thank the Coach, the Quarterback and the owner Mr. Kraft especially for allowing me the privledge of being a season Ticket holder. I pay my money gladly because of the years of entertainment I have gotten outof this team, win loose or draw it has all been special. So Pats haters my Red , White and Blue ass is here so you all can kiss it.
The reality is the Patriots are fucked either way from all the cowards in the media and on twitter if they won they cheated and if the loose they deserve to loose because they cheated. Whether the did or didn’t has become irrelevant in thisnutty society. We are talking th equvilant of scuffed baseball take the friggin thing remove it from the game and move on.
Twinkles we are in your corner as well. The patriots will raise the Flag on Sunday for their 4 th Championship.
Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. For once, I am happy to see a month fly by. Seriously…does anyone like January? Yes, we get playoff football…but if the truth be told, I am tired of football as well. It is pretty difficult for me to admit this, because I am someone that truly loves football. With the Super Bowl…football is over. Rather than looking forward to the big game, I find myself looking back at the 2014 season. What I see is troubling to me. It is not so much how the season played out, but rather the leadership or lack of leadership that Roger Goodell has displayed. With the recent furor surrounding the amount of air in the Patriot footballs, I have a question. If the league had received a complaint that the Patriots were playing with balls that were underinflated, why not just go to the Patriots and discuss the problem. Richard Sherman has stated that because of the relationship between Roger Goodell and Robert Kraft that the Patriots will escape punishment. If the relationship with Kraft and Goodell is so strong, wouldn’t Goodell simply give Kraft a heads up regarding the balls? While the Patriots have experienced some recent embarrassment, my guess is that the lasting embarrassment will be for the NFL. I have a strong suspicion that after this season is over that the owners will take a long look at the job performance of Roger Goodell.
The phrase NFL investigation has become the punch line to many jokes. The integrity of the NFL has been questioned and the buck stops with Roger Goodell. How can the NFL owners be happy with what they are getting for their $44 million dollars? The NFL is riding high and filling its owner’s pockets…but this can change. The landscape for football is changing. Fear of concussions leave many parents reluctant to allow “little Johnny” to play football. Will Johnny be a football fan when he grows up? Will the lack of perceived integrity in the NFL change our viewing habits? The NFL really needs to face the facts and find a leader that is more visionary than Roger Goodell.
With the tainted NFL season soon to end, I am eagerly awaiting the return of baseball. I know that for those of you dealing with snow, spring is probably not on your radar yet…but it is coming! The most obvious change for baseball is a new commissioner. Bud Selig is gone and Robert Manfred has taken the reins as the MLB commish. Do you realize that in the history of baseball there have now only been 10 commissioners? I don’t know about you, but I was surprised to learn this. So how will you remember Bud Selig? I will give him is due with regard to solving the labor issues of baseball. I will give him credit for the wild card and interleague play…but I cannot forget how he turned a blind eye to the ped issue in baseball. In reading and listening to Rob Manfred, I like most of what I hear. Here are words from Commissioner Manfred:
The mission before us is clear: To honor the game's history while welcoming new people to our great sport -- people who will one day pass their love of baseball down through the generations. That is what our parents and grandparents did for us, and it is what we are doing for our own children. Baseball is a game firmly rooted in childhood experiences, and its vitality and growth rely heavily on giving young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to play and watch baseball.
This notion that baseball is the game of children is central to my core goals as Commissioner. Maybe that is because my own Little League experience in upstate Rome, New York was such an important part of my childhood. I will never forget my intense dedication to that club and to my teammates -- each of whom I can still name to this day -- and being part of a perfect game.
My top priority is to bring more people into our game -- at all levels and from all communities. Specifically, I plan to make the game more accessible to those in underserved areas, especially in the urban areas where fields and infrastructure are harder to find. Giving more kids the opportunity to play will inspire a new generation to fall in love with baseball just as we did when we were kids. Expanding Little League, RBI and other youth baseball programs will also help sustain a steady and wide talent pool from which our clubs can draw great players and create lifelong fans.
As Commissioner, I will draw closer connections between youth baseball and MLB. I want to inspire children's interest in baseball and help parents and coaches foster that passion. In the coming years, MLB will work with college, high school, amateur and youth baseball programs to help grow our game and to ensure that the best players and talent have the opportunity to pursue their dreams. I call it "One Baseball" -- a partnership between all professional and amateur groups involved in our game.
In reading his words, I wholeheartedly agree with his concept. With the focus of injuries in football, baseball is offered a prime opportunity to gain big strides toward regaining the title America’s Pastime. When you think about it, baseball offers a place for a Randy Johnson or Jose Altuve. It allows players of all sizes to excel and in my opinion places more value on intelligent play than other sports. By grabbing kids when they are young, the sport has a much better chance for those kids to be life time fans. I am encouraged to read his words about pursuing a closer tie with college and high school baseball and youth baseball. I think that in the past, baseball has lost some of the best athletes to other sports. I am anxious to see how Manfred plans for MLB to work with college, high school and amateur baseball as I am hopeful that some of the better athletes will consider baseball a better option in the future.
With the good, I suppose there has to be some bad. I am worried with the infatuation of putting a clock on baseball. In the past three years, here is the average time for games:
The average NFL game in 2014 was 3 hours and 7 minutes and college football is much longer than this. Why would anyone think that baseball games need to be shorter? It is pretty funny that in reading how some would propose shorter time between innings. Given that this is when advertisements run, what is the likelihood that this will happen? Commissioner Manfred also suggested that he would look to “modernize the game without interfering with its history and traditions.” I welcome this approach, but I worry when I hear discussion about restricting teams from utilizing the defensive shift. This thought has been offered as a way to improve the scoring opportunities in baseball. I am steadfast in my belief that you must have the game change itself. Players must attack the shift with intelligence instead of brawn. When I was coaching, I was really big on hitting the ball where it was pitched. I coached a couple of kids that were dead pull hitters and I spent quite a bit of time in their ear trying to teach them that pitchers would not pitch them middle in if they could not hit middle away. There are two simple ways for professional hitters to succeed against the shift…bunt or learn to hit the other way. It is a simple game, don’t mess with it. Of course, I had to laugh in listening to MLB Tuesday night. They pointed out that with more offense the games are longer…well, there is that.
With the recent passing of Ernie Banks, I had to take a moment to reflect on the life of “Mr. Cub”. I have to admit that I have sort of overlooked just how great of a player that Banks was. In all honesty , it was Banks that gave us the first power hittng shortstop, not Cal Ripken. Banks won a couple of MVPs when players like Willie Mays and Hank Aaron were terrorizing the National League. His career home run total of 512 is an amazing feat for a shortstop. As great as Banks was, I think that most would agree that he was a better person. As I thought about the life of Banks, I realized how similar it was in some aspects to my dad. They were born the same year and lived 30 miles apart. Banks father had a strong dislike for whites and my grandfather carried his Georgia racism with him to Texas. The more I thought about this, the more I realized just how significant it was for each of them to break away from the thinking that they were raised with. I was raised to be colorblind, they were not. This generation that is passing is one of great character and integrity. Although racism still exists, these two men found a way to move beyond it with how they treated people. I wrote in my dad’s eulogy that he lived live with a heart full of love; I think the same applies to Ernie Banks. In closing my dad’s eulogy, I used a quote from Dr. Seuss…”Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened.” I think the same applies for Ernie Banks…RIP Mr. Banks.
I read this week that the Yankee marketing agreement with Alex Rodriguez calls for him to receive a $6 million dollar bonus each time he passes another icon on the HR board. Rodriguez currently sits at 654 HRs and can realistically pass Willie Mays at 660 in the coming season. The Yankees have decided that because it has been proven that Rodriguez used PEDs during his time as a Yankee, they are going to fight paying the bonus. While I have NO love for ARod, I am torn with this decision. I am curious…what do you think about this? Is this a bad precedent or does ARod deserve to lose this “bonus”? Of course, the Yankees could sit Rodriguez on the bench and make the payment a moot point. I have to admit, it would not hurt my feeling to see Mays remain ahead for Rodriguez. As I understand this "contract"...it is not his normal employment contract, but a special marketing agreement that was unique for Rodriguez.
I don’t usually have much to say regarding the NBA, but I had to add this video of Blake Griffin. Camera’s never blink Blake!
That's all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey:
Martha says the interesting thing about fly fishing is that it's two lives connected by a thin strand. Come on, Martha...grow up.
Even though he was and enemy of mine, I had to admit that what he had accomplished was a brilliant piece of strategy. First, he punched me, then he kicked me, then he punched me again.
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own...
Greetings from the Hoodwood where the flags are at half-staff for Mr. Cub
Coach K gets his grand victory
I’ve never been much of a Duke fan, I think they are the poster boy of the snobby ACC. I detested Duke for being the ones that the pundits pointed to as basketball the “right way” and how they celebrated when Duke stunned UNLV in the 1991 national semifinals in a game I still swear was fixed to give UNLV their comeuppance. The thing is as much as detested the school and program. I actually respected Mike Krzyzewski, he always seemed like a coach who actually believed in principles like staying in school. I thought for the longest time Duke didn’t put up its 1990 final four banner because of how they got humiliated in the national championship but it was because one of the players didn’t graduate. I found out later that the player. Alaa Abdelnaby did come back finish his coursework and the banner went up. But in any case, the more I read about Krzyzewski and his come up from humble beginnings in Chicago, and his yeoman like rise from coaching his alma mater to nearly being run out of Duke after a couple years, the more I respected him as much as I loathed the team that he coached. In any case, Krzyzewski has made himself a coaching institution and believe it or not been at Duke as long as Dean Smith was at UNC and has more wins he has 927 at Duke, and after the Blue Devils rallied smartly to down a plucky St. John’s squad at MSG Coach K became the 1st men’s coach in Div-1 to amass 1000 wins. Keep in mind, Coach K still has about 3 seasons to go to surpass Pat Summitt’s 1089 wins but he has a milestone that it’s a testimony to his great teams whom he was quick to put to the forefront and effusive in praise for. But also to his longevity, you don’t coach somewhere 35 years without winning pretty consistently and he has done that in spades.
MLB changes leaders
As much as it catches me off guard to think Coach K has been at Duke for 35 years it makes me pause, but to think that Bud Selig has stepped down from his post as MLB commish, a job he held since 1992 makes me feel old. Selig has been MLB’s grand poobah since the owners ran Fay Vincent out after the 92 season. He has had the job officially since 1998 when the farcical acting title was finally removed. I’ve never been big on Bud Selig, as I’ve always thought of him as a puppet for the owners as he once was one as owner of the Milwaukee Brewers. I also thought that his ideas for contracting two teams (one of whom were my beloved Minnesota Twins in 2001) was ham handed and smelled like a plot to take care of his daughter who was then running the Brewers but that plan fell through, the Twins got good, the Expos moved to fertile baseball country in Washington and Selig soldiered on. Now some of his ideas I liked. Interleague play, moving the Brewers to the NL and the wild card were good. Others like the steroid bumbling, the aforementioned contraction and the inane All-Star-home field advantage But Selig was the 2nd longest tenured commish behind the first to hold the office, the bigoted Kennesaw Mountain Landis. With Selig’s retirement the mantle passes to Rob Manfred who has been the deputy CEO of MLB and by and large has the approval of the talking heads of MLB. We’re hoping that Mann looks at further improving the game and will be his own man and not a puppet of the owners.
NBA: Kobe done for the season…and for good?
This is a haunting refrain that is getting all too familiar. Kobe Bryant has played all of 41 games for the Lakers in the last two seasons suffering through injuries to his knee and Achilles but another injury, this time to his rotator cuff which will shelve him for the remainder of this season and will be the third time in as many season that Bryant will not finish the season healthy and leaves many to wonder will this be the last time we see the self-styled Black Mamba on the court. I think it won’t be, I think that Bryant will try it one more time. I can’t see Bryant walking away from the game after an injury. I think Bryant can be self-absorbed and selfish as a player but he has a legacy of a winner and a tough customer. I can’t see him letting an injury be the checkmate for him.
PHAT DAP\HEAD SLAP
Phat Dap- In Memoriam for Mr. Cub
In lieu of a phat dap, Hoodwood takes a moment to remember Mr. Cub. Ernie Banks. The player universally loved in the baseball and revered in Chicago passed away this past Friday at 83. One of the first players of color to play for the Cubs, Banks’ infectious play and boundless spirit fueled the otherwise sad sack Cubs of the 50’s and 60’s, he retired in 1971 as the Cubs all-time home run leaders and is still 2nd but his 1636 RBI’s are still team best. He was inducted into the baseball hall of fame on his first year of eligibility in 1977. His catchphrase “Let’s Play Two” was his enduring symbolism of his love for the game. The Cubs family have lost one of their greats, and the whole baseball and sports world grieves with them.
To Russ Knight who works for the CBS affiliate in Phoenix and was hired by the NFL as an assistant frequency coordinator for the Super Bowl festivities going on in the Valley of The Sun. Knight was given highly coveted All-Access Super Bowl credentials for his job. Rightly excited he took a picture and posted it on Facebook. That was a no-no. The NFL contacted him immediately and told him that his credentials would be revoked since there would be a slim but realistic chance that the picture of the credential could be zoomed in on can be duplicated. Considering how tight security is for the Super Bowl nowadays it’s not surprising that the NFL is so strict on posting pics especially of its prized credentials. Knight for his part took ownership of his goof blaming no one but himself. But he still gets a head slap for wasting a golden opportunity to be at the year’s biggest game.
The Pro Bowl really needs to go back to Hawai’i and after the Super Bowl
The NHL All-Star was in Columbus and in a way I’m sad I missed it but 29 goals? That’s too much
The Yanks don’t want to pay A-Fraud his bonuses. Y’all act like you didn’t know???
Richard Sherman is the best corner in the league and doesn’t like inane questions about it
Doing away with defensive shifts, here’s a tip hitters should hit ‘em where they aint
Now the CFP won’t budge on their dates…did you think that they would give up their valuable cash cow dates?