Three more in the hallowed halls of Cooperstown...
Greetings from the Hoodwood, where we're just grinding away...
Rice Gets 2 games…seriously?
Ray Rice, has been a steady dependable running back for the Ravens and has been so going back to his days at Rutgers, I was seriously disappointed in his actions where he was in a physically abusive altercation with his then fiancé now wife. Rice, to his credit owned up to the deed. But the NFL gave him a two game suspension, consider that Albert Haynesworth got 5 games for stomping on an opponent during a game, a coach got 6 games for his involvement in Bountygate, Odell Thurman was out multiple seasons. The most suspect of suspensions was the 5 game dock that was given to Terrelle Pryor for his involvement in the tattoos for memorabilia that ultimately brought down the reign of Jim Tressel at Ohio State. Sheriff Goodell has hand a long history of being heavy on those miscreants that he feel has violated the conduct standard that the NFL holds strict to. The phrase “Protect the Shield” has rung long and often by officials and former players. But this suspension is a joke, and NFL VP Adolpho Birch went on Mike & Mike Monday Morning in a feeble attempt to defend and justify their actions. Greenberg and Golic lit in to him and repeatedly tried to pin him down on giving a justifiable reason for such a puny disciplinary action. He couldn’t and I applauded Mike Greenberg for his sharp criticism of the suspension and the words of Mike Golic who pointed out that had either of his football playing sons had been the focus of the suspensions for those actions, that they would face a lot worse discipline from him than a coach or league.
Hall of Fame gets a classy class
Cooperstown got a real class group this year. Four I thought were no doubters and two I was never big fans of but the numbers are just too good to ignore. The four no-doubters are Tom Glavine, long time ace of the Braves, Greg Maddux the Clark Kent clone who seemed to crank out wins and strikeouts as the years went by. Managers Joe Torre and Bobby Cox who managed lots of places but were most famed for winning with powerhouse teams in the Yankees and Braves respectively. The two I shrugged on were Frank Thomas and Tony LaRussa.
In depth: Glavine won 20 or more games 5 times and netted 2 Cy Youngs, never an overpowering pitcher, he always was on point with his control and was a reliable pitcher. Starting in 1991 he had 13 consecutive winning seasons. Glavine was nothing if not consistent and he won. He passed the 300 win threshold in 2007 and might be the last pitcher to win 300 games.
I wanted to despise Greg Maddux, because he was so good and I detested the Braves. But Maddux looked more like Clark Kent or an accountant than a beastly pitcher. Like Glavine, Maddux took a couple years to get his sea legs then became a model of consistency. Look at his season by season numbers and you might not be impressed until you see that they cross 23 years spanning 3 decades. He only won 20 games twice once as he was hitting his free agent year with the Cubs and the first with the Braves where he spent the bulk of his career. He won four Cy Youngs in a row from 92-95. Maddux won 15 or more games each season from 1988-2004 and struck out 100 or more batter for 21 consecutive seasons from 1987-2007, that’s the hallmark of consistency. He was an innings eater and workhorse stopper. Don’t let the specs fool ya, he was a game competitor who took pride in his craft, fielding (he won 13 consecutive Gold Gloves, missed a year then won 5 more) and batting.
I have always loathed the White Sox, though for some reason I’ve always liked their colorful play by play guy Hawk Harrelson, he was the one that gave the quiet slugger Frank Thomas his nickname “The Big Hurt” Lord, that man could hurt ya. He swung like he was trying to hit the ball into Lake Michigan when the Sox played at Comiskey and more often than not hit he’d hit it hard. Say what you want about the so-called steroid era, Thomas was legitimately strong. My relatives down south used to call it country strong. Made his debut in 1990 and everyone knew he was gonna be special, from 1991-1998 he knocked in 100 or more RBI’s every year; he hit .300 better in all but one season from 1991-2000. He won 2 MVP’s and was a consistent long ball threat. I wasn’t a fan of his, and didn’t think much of his numbers till I looked at them over the course of his career. He was good and where 500 homers is shrugged at now as no big deal, he still had 521 homers and few every doubted that he earned them, he was always a home run hitter and for a while was the frightening combo of power and average
On the Managerial side, all three skippers have won World Series rings. Bobby Cox managed like forever for the Braves and cranked out divisional titles in assembly line style. Though his career started forgettable with Braves in the late 70s and was replaced by some guy named Torre (but we’ll get to that forgettable guy later) He resurfaced with the Blue Jays and made them steadily better but was haunted by his team blowing a 3-1 lead in the ALCS to the Royals, he returned to the Braves as GM and then returned to the bench in 1990 and after a rough 40-57 conclusion to that season began to win and win and win. From 1991-2005 the Braves never had a losing season and made the postseason every year. Read that last part again… Every year that there were playoffs from 1991-2005, the Braves were there they won 100+ games 6 times, 4 NL Pennants and the 1995 World Series. Cox was seemingly always getting tossed from games, but his players loved his straightforward style and played hard for him consistently.
Cox got replaced in his first stint as Braves Manager by Joe Torre. Torre won a division title with those Braves in 1982, but not much else his first three managerial gigs with the Mets and Cards and when he was hired by the Yanks in 1996, the papers derided the decision with one paper blaring the headline “Clueless Joe” But Torre instead proved to be the perfect buffer between the players and the Boss, he could parry with the media who held him in high regards and backed with Yankee money skillfully managed the Bombers to 12 consecutive playoff appearances and Five AL pennants and four World Series titles, rings that eluded him as player he got as a skipper and the call from Cooperstown that also was just out of his grasp as a player was a no brainer as a manager.
Finally there is LaRussa, whom I was no fan of. I thought he was egotistical and the media always lauded over how great and smart he was. Yeah I get that he managed 33 years and won better than 2700 games, 6 pennant and with Sparky Anderson was one of two managers to win World Series in both leagues but I look at the fact that his teams won 100 or games 4 times and never won a World Series. I remember how he got outcoached in the 88 and 90 World Series and was cannon fodder for the 2004 Red Sox. He did go out with a bang, retiring after his Cards won a thrilling 2011 Series but I never was a fan of his.
McGwire: Too good for Canseco
Mark McGwire was a protégé of LaRussa and played almost all of his career under his stewardship, I find it humorous that the overly pious McGwire is um bashing Jose Canseco for his expose into the tawdry world of PEDs McGwire says that he will never speak to Canseco again and refused to do so during a 25th anniversary fete for the 1989 World Series champ A’s. I find it funny that McGwire acts like he was so pure and Canseco was the cheater when it seemed that he has that PEDs taint on himself too. Canseco who never came close to making the Hall of Fame looks like his usual hustlin’ for a buck self while the pious McGwire is the hitting coach for the Dodgers which I always found funny a .260 hitter teaching hitting.
Can Scott return the Lake Show to primetime?
The Lake Show finally has a coach. After 3 long years of Kobe running the team, he has finally decided to let an established coach with real playing credentials take the helm. I’m sorry, the pair of Mikes in the seemingly petrified Mike Brown who seemed frightened to even correct Kobe and the clueless Mike D’Antoni whose offensive style was ill-suited for the Lake Show and seemingly was getting more and more ignored by the player as their disastrous 27-55 death march season ground on, don’t count. Byron Scott was named head coach of the Lakers over the weekend. Scott is well traveled as a coach having had stints in Cleveland, New Orleans and most successfully in New Jersey where he lead the Nets to their only Finals appearances where they were sacrificial lambs to the Lakers and Spurs respectively. Scott would at least have the attention of Kobe who was a briefly a teammate of his for a season when Kobe was a rookie and Scott was at the end of solid career where he garnered 3 rings as a member of the Showtime Lakers. The Lake Show might have he first coach since Phil Jax that has the street cred and playing weight to put and keep Kobe in his place. Will the Lake Show be anything more than 3rd best in their building for a while? No, but I still think that Scott is a decent choice and gives the team a decent credibility bridge from its halcyon days of the 80s Scott is the 6th former Laker to coach the team (Mikan, West, Riley, Johnson, Rambis.)
The Red Sox have long had to labor under the immense shadow of their hated neighbors the New York Yankees but the Red Sox can hang their hat on the fact that in this Century they currently have a 3-1 lead on the Bombers in World Series titles. So it would be a bit surprising that a Yankee fan would return a Red Sox World Series ring but Luigi Militello, owner of Luke’s Bar and Grill in NYC, found the ring worth close to $30K belonging to Drew Weber who is the owner of one the Red Sox minor league affiliates. Weber who said that he hardly ever wears the ring left the ring in the men’s washroom and Militello found the precious bauble when Weber who had searched his domicile in vain for the ring called the eatery as a last resort, Militello reported he had found the ring after some good natured razzing. Weber who frequents the restaurant returned the next day. Militello refused any kind of reward money, but Weber did hook him up with tickets to the final games of Yankee Captain Derek Jeter’s career which will be play at Fenway.
ESPN for dropping the ball in the debate and discussion over abuse and the NFL’s handling of such matters. ESPN’s and First Take did a quick though weak repudiation of the loquacious of show debater Stephen A Smith’s comments that were made Friday which came off as sounding like that a woman provoked a fight and deserved the abuse. Smith, to his credit, did apologize and make an attempt to correct his comments while reiterating that he does not condone abuse in anyway. But instead of using that as a springboard for a thought provoking debate and discussion with First Take host Cari Champion or possibly Michelle Beadle who rightfully called Smith to task for his comments as misconstrued as they could have been, instead turned away from the topic to opine about LeBron James’s jersey number switch. ESPN and the powers that be at First Take blew a golden opportunity to take the lead on the discussion of the topic itself, not is so much Smith and his mea culpa which I attribute to poor phrasing and word choice in an attempt to sound more bombastic than his debate partner than braying hack that is Skip Bayless. The show proceeding First Take, Mike & Mike in the Morning were very eloquent in their opinion on the matter and were very clear on their stance as I pointed out. That was the kind of lead in and alley-oop that First Take should have hit 5 miles and slammed home. Bravo to Ms. Beadle who bravely called out a colleague but the Head Slap goes to First Take who missed a perfect opportunity to follow in the words of their show “Embrace Debate”
Sterling’s bid to block the sale of the Clippers has been tossed out…bye Felicia
Kevin Love decides against playing for the national team due to the trade concerns…ummm yeah.
Johnny Football jersey sells for $100k…for real?
Gordon wins the Brickyard…again
Derrick Rose feels good…how long is that going to last?
Thats the View From the Hoodwood, Until Next Post Fellow Sports Fans!
Usually when we hear "dog days" in the context of sports we think about the brutal portion of the baseball schedule that runs from about now through the heat of the summer in August....well, it applies to sports blogs, too! Here we sit with not too much going on other than....
MLB pennant races enter the Dog Days of Summer phase with nothing really decided except the Tigers and the fates of the 10 not-so-good teams who only have the trade deadline to look forward to.
NFL Training Camps are open...but is there really any news to consider yet. All you can hope for at this stage o?f the game is that nobody gets hurt, or as typical these days, goes to jail. (Speaking of jail, how about the Ray Rice "suspension?" Nice to know that in the NFL you can knock out your woman and then try to knock out an opposing linebacker a couple of weeks later. Nic job wrecking the NFL Goddell).
Golf this weekend is the tournament for everyone not good enough for the British Open. If I was one of those journeymen golfers on tour, I would target this week as my one week to get a win and be set for life. One win and you get all sorts of exemptions not to mention a nice pay day. Go Graham Deleat! (I have to note that Jim Furyk decided to play, upsetting the apple cart a bit as he is leading...I guess he needed a win).
Which brings me back to the Dog Days of Blogging...I think I will fire up the barbeque this week and plan out for the MLB pennant races, the NFL REAL season not to mention my fantasy football edition...nothing like a burnt chicken leg to get the juices flowing!
Bride asks Sebastian the Ibis to fill in for her late father...hope the Groom wasnt a FSU or Florida Fan
Greetings from the Hoodwood, where we return to the printed word with the exception of a couple really cool video highlights
The Colbys: Baseball Soap Opera
There are the so-called unwritten rules of baseball, a lot of which I think are pretentious and dumb some make sense sort of. But what went on Saturday between the Rangers and Blue Jays was a bit puzzling, more specifically between Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis and Jays Colby Rasmus. In the 5th inning, Rasmus dropped a two out bunt opposite of a defensive shift that the Rangers had employed. Rasmus beat out the bunt but was the focus of fury from Lewis who could be clearly seen screaming at Rasmus “Swing the bat!” Lewis then went to the press after the game complaining that Rasmus had violated the “unwritten code” Huh? Wait a minute, the Jays were nursing a 2-0 lead and Rasmus was getting a hit by any way he could. Had someone like speedy rookie Billy Hamilton done this, it would have been an expected part of the arsenal but Rasmus doing it was a surprise but it was still a good play. And Lewis came off looking like that much more of a whiny spoiled sport.
5 Foot tall woman bosses American Ninja Warrior qualifying course
Is it cheating?
The football media days for the power conferences in the NCAA are dotted the otherwise sleepy sports months of the summer, the hype and hoopla of the all-powerful SEC, the ACC home of the defending national champs and the imposing presences of the Big Ten and Pac12 conferences. The Big XII (12) conference may be the smallest and weakest of the so-called power five conferences but they have provided some of the bigger headlines. Big XII commish Bob Bowlsby stunned many of the media contiginent by stating that “cheating pays” and that “he doesn’t see it getting any better in the near future” Bowlsby didn’t come right out and name names. But he more or less implied that schools were taking advantage of lax enforcement of NCAA rules. Im not really sure what Bowlsby is trying to prove by making these statements. Anyone that watches college football knows that there is lots and lots of money afoot and that money doesn’t just evaporate. I liken it to the movie Blue Chips where the money and friends of the programs are taking care of players, but the question then gets to who’s getting paid and how much. Im just shocked that someone in Bowlsby’s position would openly speak of “cheating” This may be just another domino to fall in the increasingly shaky house of cards that college football might be in.
NBA: The Big Deal?
Now we wait. The biggest free agent LeBron James has returned to Cleveland. Carmelo Anthony ad Chris Bosh have returned to the original teams in New York and Miami respectively. The free agent market signings are coming through in dribs and drabs but the biggest deal seems to be just waiting to happen. Kevin Love is looking to get out of Minnesota, and he will either by trade or letting his contract run out at the end of this season. The Timberwolves are trying to get as much as they can for their recalcitrant power forward, and are trying to strike the best deal that they can. They are dickering with the Warriors and have an offer of Harrison Barnes and David Lee but are also trying to pry sharpshooting Klay Thompson from them, the other suitor are the suddenly high rolling high profile Cavaliers who with the return of their homegrown superstar in James and are looking to get another big name to boost their fortunes. The Cavs are pondering trading their recently drafted top pick Andrew Wiggins and former #1 Anthony Bennett, the latter is looking more and more like a bust, for Love. The wheeling and dealing is interesting to watch and the speculation is getting more and more rampant. I think that the deal with the Cavs benefits both, but the Cavs seem reluctant to let go of Wiggins who looks to be a cant miss prospect. Though Love has expressed a positive reaction to playing with his former Olympic teammate and sign a longterm deal with Cleveland, the Cavs are hanging back from consummating the deal and the Wolves keep looking like that they are using the Warriors to drive up the bargaining price. This looks like a fascinating soap opera stay tuned.
Speaking of Wiggins: Check this sick dunk
25-year-old German soccer star Mesut Ozil has donated his World Cup prize money – totaling more than $400,000 for winning the tournament – to various charity projects in Brazil. The hefty sum is reportedly going to fund surgeries for 23 Brazilian children.
Stuart Scott’s heartrending speech at the Espy’s, I know that there are many in this collective that don’t like the four letter sports monolith. I tolerate it more than I used to but the ESPY awards aside from the push for the V Foundation is a useless drill though the award for perserverence going to Scott who has been battling cancer. His fight and his quiet determination is admirable and like him being the father of two, I get the inspiration and motivation that he draws from. Cancer sucks, as you well know I lost a dear friend to this awful disease a couple months ago and have several friends who are fighting this now. I do what I can do to support them but in reality have no idea the fight that they face. Scott’s simple yet eloquent speech was poignant, and heartfelt without being cheesy. Here’s to you Stu, keep fighting the good fight.
To MLB and Fox for not honoring the memory of Tony Gwynn during last weeks All-Star game…if not wanting to slight others why not do like they do at the Oscars and have a segment on those Baseball lost…
Dan Uggla…how far has this guy fallen…
Cancer sucks…best wishes to Atlanta Dream and former Laker Michael Cooper who is battling cancer of the tongue.
Even the best of men can shoot off their mouths, Coach Dungy? Really?
The Ol' Ball Coach cant help but dig at Dabo but how many BCS games have the 'Cocks been too? (Ill give you a hint, my beloved Bearcats who have been to two more than South Carolina...)
If Sterling stays in LA, look for the biggest mass exodus from a team since the old Padres fire sales.
Have you started prepping for your fantasy drafts yet?
That’s the view from the Hoodwood, until next post fellow sports fans!
Yep, bad penny time. I’ve got a pile of stuff I need to get through and with my trip looming I want to clear my stack of irrelevant stuff I torture you all with on a weekly basis. Sucks for you, so here are some off the wall thoughts:
Politics and Diplomacy. Beeze put up a very thought-provoking blog on his blogspot site, and I encourage everybody to read it here. But I just want to add this: Arabs and Jews have been going at it for over two millennium and probably longer – the (bleep) isn’t going to stop no matter how much we wish it so. Both sides are guilty of going too far, and we as Americans will NEVER get the whole story, so taking either side of the issue is relatively pointless.
Hell, I’m almost convinced that if you went up and did an unscientific survey with ten people (five jews, five arabs) and asked them what is this fighting all about or what is the root cause, the answer would be that neither side knows why their fighting, they just are. Sad and pathetic.
My take for what its worth is this: Israel is no longer going to listen to Barack Obama tell them what to do, Israel believes that they are in the most dire situation imaginable, and that they are going to get minimal help from the United States, if any at all. They believe they can't wait for two and a half years for a new administration to show them support and are gonna do what they need to ensure their survival. Buckle up folks because I get the feeling that between now and January 20, 2017 we're gonna see more, not less of stuff like this.
SF 49ers – Aldon Smith. Every time I say I can’t be surprised, I get surprised again. Felony Weapons charges (possession of illegal assault rifles), DUI, and this clown gets his charges dropped to misdemeanors, 11 days with a work crew, 235 hours of community service, and a $4000 fine. Oh, did I mention that the party that got out of hand where he was stabbed and which ALLEGEDLY involved “gangstas”?
Oh, but the county in question (Santa Clara) said that Smith didn’t receive special treatment. Nah, the fact that the new stadium where the 49ers will be playing is in your county had nothing to do with it. Yeah, right. I guarantee you if it was anybody else who wasn’t a pro football player, their asses would have been in the hole long ago, probably at Pelican Bay, California’s version of “Supermax”.
Memo to Santa Clara County: You should be ashamed of yourselves. When this idiot does something ignorant again (and he will), any blood spilled will be on your hands. Holy Shit Santa Clara County, Jack McCoy wouldn’t have allowed this type of crap on his watch. Are you serious? You have got to be effing kidding me! This waste of humanity gets away with claiming he had a bomb during a run-in down in LAX, and now he gets away with weapons and DUI charges? This dude is gonna think he’s bulletproof. What's next Aldon?
Memo to the San Francisco 49ers, you are my team – BUT THIS IS A FUCKING DISGRACE!!! I hope the Sheriff goes medieval on his ass and suspends him for a full year if not two. Hell Sheriff, ban this walking crime wave from the freaking league for all I care. Hell, I’ll give you a hero of the week certificate!!! Playing in the NFL is a privilege, not a right and criminals like this (and that’s what he is) do not deserve to be in the league.
Oh yeah Ray Rice, that goes for you too. Beating the crap out of your old lady…YOU COWARD!!!
Speaking of Law and Order: Cops have got to be seething right about now. Shit like what is going on in Chicago, and now “gangstas” ALLEGEDLY very publicly threatening the lives of cops in New Jersey? Gang-bangers in Stockton using hostages as human shields during a bank-robbery-gone-bad running gun battle with "Johnny Law", one hostage dies, two others severly hurt and a Ford Expedition with 72 bullet holes? You think shit isn’t about to get real? Criminals have taken that one step too far and they’re about to get snapped back into reality because at some point, cops are gonna get nasty and people are gonna start handling shit on their own.
ASG Thoughts. One of the things that I enjoyed seeing was the ASG in a different, off-the-beaten-path place. Minnesota did well in my opinion. Sold out, packed house, with great and knowledgeable sports fans. Weather didn’t help on HR Derby day, but otherwise not a bad showing by those in “the Great White North.”
San Francisco Giants. If I were to sit here and say who could the Giants get? David Price? Dan Uggla? Chase Utley?
Holy Crap San Francisco, what happened? A talking head here made the observation that Angel Pagan, he of the very bad back, has proven that for the last two years he is the team MVP. That may be the case, but how can this team not function?
You know, earlier in the season the Giants were getting all kinds of press because they were getting so many hits and runs scored with two outs in an inning. So really, why are we surprised that when that stat went away, they went to crap?
Los Angeles Angels. Our friend Doug should be very happy, the Angels acquired closer Huston Street from the Padres. To me that’s a big move for them.
Changing of the Guard? I mentioned this a few months back, but it hasn’t gone unnoticed here in the bunker that the power in many if not all pro sports leagues has shifted to the West. Seattle/SF/Denver in the NFL, LA in the NHL, San Antonio in the NBA, and even in MLB with Oakland, both LA teams, SF, and Seattle rising up.
In Golf, it would appear that Tiger and Phil are becoming a bit more of a relic than competitive, and while Roger Federer and Serena Williams are still strong presences, youth is starting to be served in Tennis.