While anticipating the season finale of The Walking Dead tonight...
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
It was quite a week for some of my former players. Last Sunday, the New Bedford Standard Times released their picks for the area basketball All-Star players. Three of my former girls players got mentioned and one of my former boys did as well.
For the girls, Amber and Breanna made the "Super Team" while Gina got an honorable mention.
Here's what was written about Amber and Breanna:
Averaged 14.9 points a game in her final season and finished with 1,052 career points as a shooting guard. ... Was among the top-three picks in voting for South Coast Conference All-Star honors and ranks sixth all-time in girls basketball scoring at Wareham. ... Holds school records for points in a game (37) and career 3-pointers (191). ... Is nominated for the Dave Cowens Achievement Award and is headed to Catholic University to continue her playing career and study physical therapy. ... "Amber brought some real stability and leadership to the team," Wareham coach Dave Brogioli said. "She played with a lot more maturity and intensity. She has great range on the perimeter and she played better defense this season."
A solid ballhandler and passer, Muir set school records for single-season assists (187) and career assists (416). ... Averaged 11.8 points, 6.2 assists and 3.4 steals a game en route to being named a South Coast Conference All-Star. ... Used her speed and quickness at the point to make up for a lack of size. ... Wants to continue playing in college and has narrowed her choices to Mount Ida College or Worcester State. ... "Breanna teamed up with Amber to give us one of the best backcourts in the area," Wareham coach Dave Brogioli said. "She was quick enough to get past defenders, take the ball to the basket and get to the free-throw line. She also made a lot of shots on the perimeter."
For the boys this is what they said about Latroy:
Vikings coach Kevin Brogioli called him "the hardest working small big man I've ever coached," and the 6-2 center helped turn that faith into an all-star effort. ... Working hard in the offseason to develop a mid-range jump shot, Latroy became an inside-outside offensive threat and averaged 13.3 points a game with 57 of his 267 points coming on 19 3-pointers. ... Seven times he led or co-led the Vikings in scoring and was a dominant factor inside with both his scoring and rebounding as Wareham wrapped up its eighth consecutive South Coast Conference championship. ... Latroy hopes to further his education and is looking at Dean or Bristol Community College.
But things got even better and historic this past Thursday. Amber was nominated for the Dave Cowens Leadership Award. No player from Wareham, girl or boy, had ever won the award. Until Thursday night when Amber's name was announced.
As you might imagine, I was very proud of her accomplishment and made sure to send her a congratulatory message.
BOSTON RED SOX
While the Red Sox struggle in their spring training games, two off the field items of note led the Beantown discussions this week.
David Ortiz got the contract extension he was looking for, with two club option years thrown in beyond that as well. It essentially guarantees that he will stay in a Red Sox uniform for the rest of his career.
I know a lot of people hate the yearly complaining Ortiz has done about his contract. Heck, I'm usually one of those people. But this year, he didn't start the engine on this year's edition.
I'm glad that things are taken care of and out of the way. He, the team and we can focus on the on the field stuff (not counting the team's dealings with Jon Lester and his possible contract extension).
The other news comes courtesy of the Red Sox TV broadcast booth. This past week, the Boston Globe laid out a devastating report on the level of monstrosity that is the life of Jared Remy, the son of Sox TV analyst Jerry Remy. It included looks at the other two Remy children and their brushes with the legal system as well. You can read the Globe article here: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/03/22/remy/xFRaOQqrnZ1S1pfLa2eKgK/story.html
The custody issue of Remy's granddaughter was settled as well. The Remys got visitation rights but not the physical custody they had been seeking. I think we all breathed a sigh of relief after reading the report.
But what gets me is how a sizeable chorus of the Tsk-Tsk crowd a lot of this country has evolved into has gotten it into their heads that Jerry Remy should not be allowed to be a TV talking head because of his lack of successful parenting.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? SERIOUSLY?
The Remys should never be in the running for any kind of parental award, but how that affects his ability to analyze a bad throw from the shortstop to first base is beyond me.
For those who think Remy should be fired, get a freaking life and stop poking your nose into everyone else's business.
The Celtics had a home and home set of games against the Raptors this week. Unfortunately, they lost both of them and dropped to 23-49 on the season.
The first game saw them lose 99-90. It was Jared Sullinger's 26 points that led the Celtics offense. Avery Bradley added 16 points and Chris Johnson had 13 points. Rajon Rondo scored 9 but also had 15 assists.
The Friday night game was a 105-103 win for the Raptors, but Jerry Bayless had 20 points for Boston. Jeff Green scored 16 points. Bradley, Rondo and Sullinger each scored 11 points and Kelly Olynyk finished with 10 points.
How's your bracket(s) doing? The NCAA men's tournament set the field for the Elite Eight on Friday night, and I had 5 of my teams still left alive.
My men's NIT bracket is completely dead, I will finish 13-18 in that one.
In the women's NIT tournament, I have two Final Four picks left alive but neither one was who I thought would win the title so the bracket will end up dying a cold and lonely death.
In the Women's NCAA tournament I had 14 of my picks for the Sweet 16 make it through successfully.
My Tennessee Lady Vols got to the Sweet 16 by virtue of beating St. John's 67-51. Cierra Burdick (pictured below) had 21 points and 11 boards for the now 29-5 Vols. Meighan Simmons added 17 points and Isabelle Harrison scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
The move isn't surprising, she had five years at the school and just couldn't build a winning program there. While some say she left her "giveadamn" at Boston College, I just think it is utterly impossible to win at URI. Either way, she's done at the school.
The best news of the weekend comes out of Division 2. On Friday night, I watched the D2 women's national championship game between West Texas A&M and the Bentley University Lady Falcons.
Bentley being from Waltham Massachusetts, I think you can be safe in thinking that's who I was rooting for. You have to root for the teams that represent Massachusetts basketball!
It was a tough and exciting game. West Texas A&M opened up a lead in the first half but the two team were tied at the break.
In the second half, Bentley found themselves down by 9 points late in the half. But the Lady Falcons put the pressure defense on over the last three minutes of the game, rattled the hell out of West Texas A&M, went on a 19-5 run to close out the game and win 73-65 for the program's first ever national title!
HELL DAMN YEAH!
Seven seniors finished their careers as champions and it was the first ever championship for coach Barbara Stevens, who is a legend in her own time. She's coached all three divisions and has been at Bentley for 28 years. In that time at the school she has average 19 wins (917 in total) a year. But never a title...until now.
I was watching the game and afterwards, the sideline reporter asked her what was going through her mind when the team was down 9 points. Even Stevens admitted she was starting to think "Oh, well it's been a good season."
But the Lady Falcons soared and did themselves, their coach, their school and the state of Massachusetts proud!
The National Champion Bentley University Lady Falcons:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
After a week or two of drama and back and forth, the Patriots and Vince Wilfork came to an agreement on a new contract. I'm glad that the situation resolved itself rather quickly because the last thing we need is more Patriots drama. Welcome back Vince, put your nameplate back up willya?
There's a long way to go in both cases, but I think it is clear to even the most basic sports fan that college sports as it has been for decades is coming to an end.
I just hope the athletes are ready for the changes that are going to affect them if they become employees rather than student athletes. Because as with most things, there are going to be pros and cons for everything. And the cons are usually a big enough bite in the ass, you begin to wonder if it was all worth it.
Not too mention that the schools and NCAA are going to fight this until their last red cent.
With The Walking Dead season finale tonight, the fourth season will come to an end with a pretty split viewing audience. Either you have loved this season or you have absolutely hated it. I'm in the "I loved it" camp, and have even been called stupid on a message board because of my opinion. Episode 14 was called "The Grove" and it was an amazing piece of work, one of the best episodes of the series and could definitely be in the running for one of the best episodes of any TV series.
Now comes the last episode of Season 4 and no one has any idea what is going to happen.
I picked up a couple of movies on DVD this week. I'd seen them in the theater or on PPV and liked them enough that I wanted them as part of my permanent collection. The movies in question? The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Escape Plan.
Books - I finished one book this week and ended up buying four more.
The book I finished was the Jennifer Roberson fantasy book Sword-Bound. It is the 7th book in her Novels of Tiger and Del series. It was a really good read.
As for the books I bought, there was the Christopher L. Bennett Star Trek Enterprise novel Rise of the Federation - Tower of Babel. The new Lee Child paperback in his Jack Reacher series is Never Go Back. And I got the Rob Thomas/Jennifer Graham novel Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line. It is set after the events of the movie that came out a couple weeks ago.
The final book I picked up was a hardcover by J.A. Jance. It's the latest in her Ali Reynolds series entitled Moving Target. I usually would wait for the book to come out in paperback but the author is appearing at an event at a college in the area tomorrow afternoon and I'm going to it, so I picked up the book to have it signed.
The video for their song "Addicted to Pain" is below.
Winger released another video from their upcoming album. The song is called "Midnight Driver of a Love Machine". I thought musically the song was good but didn't care for the lyrics at all. You can judge for yourself below.
Welcome to the Opening Day Edition and we kick it off with a "little" expose on the latest trend in stadium food...the ultimate hot dog. Shown here is the $26 Champion Dog sold by the Texas Rangers. This gastronomical delight is expected to feed 3 or 4 fans making it a real bargain...until you get home...IF you can get home after eating it. Who would buy such a dog you may ask? Well, 20,000 folks think everything is BIG in Texas.
The latest entry into the Hot Dog wars comes from the Arizona Diamondbacks - it is a $25 corn dog weighing in at 1 pound and stuffed with cheddar cheese, jalapenos and bacon and served with a side of fries...since a corn dog is served on a stick, it must be intended to be eaten solo...and it must be one hefty stick! I used to enjoy a corn dog or two back when I lived in Tennessee and they knew how to make a corn dog. I am not so sure about this monster...I think I might go for its baby brother there on the side.
I have my tickets for next Friday's home opener at Nationals Park...there food choices are a little more standard although you can get a fairly decent Curly W pretzel! I guess if you figure its $14 for a dog and a beer these days, $25 for a monster dog is not so bad. Any takers for these two?
My Fearless Forecast...
I have to say last years predictions were not so great, but it is tough to get it right year after year...here's hoping this forecast has a bit more accuracy!
In the National League, I like the chalk for the division champs: Washington, St. Louis & LA. Teams with strong rotations decent bullpens and solid defense have the advantage in the post-PED era. These teams have quality starting pitching and enough bats to get 90+ wins. For the Wild Cards, I am going with Atlanta and Pittsburgh. The Braves have been devestated by injuries to their pitching staff this spring, but they pull it together every year. For my surprise team, I am picking the Marlins. They may not make the playoffs, but they will not be awful either.
In the American League, I like the Red Sox, Tigers and Angels to win their divisions and the Rangers and Rays to take the Wild Card Spots. It is hard to pick against the Sox - they are very talented and I gave them no love last spring. I will not make that mistake twice. For my surprise team in the AL, I am going with the White Sox - I liked their off season. Maybe it will convert to wins.
In the World Series, I will go with the Nationals and Red Sox...and if that actually comes to pass, I guess you know where my allegiances will lie.
And how about that Cabrera contract? I guess the speculation was an aging owner with billions wants to win and what's a few millions among friends? And where do I find these friends?!
Have a great Saturday...I'm off to Germany for a few days, but back in time for some baseball!
Been a while since the last time we have chatted. since then I have finished my Winter Term at Rasmussen pulling all A's. The weird part of the grades, as they were so similar percentage wise, that it actually scared me a bit. As you all know Wednesday was Sully's birthday (53), didn't think for whatever reason he was this old. But anyway it's only a fitting present, if I give him a little tribute to his favorite player Zdeno Chara. Enjoy Sully, from my family to you have a great year, and I hope that you had a great day!
It's a little large, but after all if it wasn't for you we wouldn't have this site to blog on.
Kind of figured you like this one Sully, so I picked it as another one of your gifts....
Here's the last one, would have added some Patriot highlights if they had won. But now on to other things that I want to talk about. I wouldn't go make any plans on the Red Sox repeating as WS Champs in 2014, here are my predictions for the upcoming baseball season.......
American League East Champs - Tampa Bay Rays (sorry Red Sox nation, not this year)
American League Central Champs - Detroit Tigers (even though the Royals, Indians are starting to become worthy contenders)
American League West Champs - Nobody will guess this one, the Seattle Mariners, thought I would be different than AFD
American League Wild Card - Kansas City and those Swinging A's
American League Champs - you guessed it I'm a homer, the Detroit Tigers
Now on to the National League......
National League East - Sorry Atlanta fans, but I am going with the Nationals to win the East.
National League Central - Sorry Cub's fans you are going to have to wait at least another year, I am leaning towards the Pittsburgh Pirates...
National League West - Sorry B.O.B. and you Dodger fans, but if life is right, Kirk Gibson's Arizona Diamondbacks will win the West.
National League Wildcard - Braves and Cardinals (The George Steinbrenner theory Magic, you can't buy championships, you have to earn them)
National League Champs - Washington Nationals (will this be their year?).
World Series - yes I am a homer again, the championship finally returns to Detroit after 2 years of near misses and failures, the Tigers win the World Series in 7 games, and the struggling city regains some stature.....Why because there is no Jim Leyland this year to screw it up, like he did the last two years......
Now that I am finished with that bit of tomfoolery, I would also like to mention that I still have 3 of my final 4 in tact on ESPN. How many of you can say that? Wouldn't it be something if the Dayton Flyers continued their dramatic March Madness run, and took down another pair of giants this weekend? Even though I like Michigan and Michigan St's chances of meeting for a fourth time this year, I am not going to bet my life savings on it occurring. The Dayton Flyers and Stanford Cardinal is what March Madness is all about, knocking down the "Giants," and doing the unexpected............Oh yeah, before I leave I have one more gift for Sully.........
Here's a little news flash Scott, Max ain't getting the money from the Tigers, Miggy Got it! Guess you kind of out thought yourself this time, when you thought by waiting until the end of the year was a better move. The Tigers gave Miggy a 10-year contract extension today, worth $292 million which will make him a Tiger until 2023. What a way to pay him back for everything he has accomplished in a Tiger uniform, since his acquisition from the Marlins....Great Move Mr. I., Scotty you should have taken the $24 million a year and done this...
Until the next time, please feel free to leave your comments, and have a great week!
Another Thursday and another aftermath of the wind and snow up here in frosty Boston.
We are doing our best to keep a stiff upper lip and gut this out till spring springs eternal.
Mrsharry took over picking my bracket this year because I never get it close to respectability and although her regional choices for the finals both went down in the first round, she did pick 8 of the sweet 16 and that’s more than I would have picked.
MLB is underway down under…I don’t like the opening day of our baseball season to happen out of the lower 48…this is our MLB, National and American leagues, not the International league…that’s AAA I think.
Matt Scherzer reportedly turned down 6 years at $24,000,000.00 a year from the Tigers and is going to take his chances pitching this season and then going free agency as his agent Scott Borass has suggested. I think that’s top money for Matt and he should have taken it. Borass has made some guys very rich but doesn’t always give the best advice and sometimes over estimates the market and leaves guys hanging in limbo…Steven Drew…need I say more.
Yankeescenterfielder Jacoby 153 Ellsbury hasn’t played since March 14th and could miss more time with a shin injury…this came as no surprise to Ellsbury followers.
Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has had a decent spring with 15 innings pitched he has given up 5 runs and 12 hits 16 K’s and only 3 BB. He should help solidify a rotation rounding into shape with the steady improvement of Michael Pineda.
David Ortiz signed a $16 million extension thru 2015 and it has 2 years of options thru 2016 & 2017. This eliminates David’s annual disrespected rant and keeps him a Red Sox for the rest of his career.
Mike Vick and Geno Smith are happy teammates and will be vying for the Jets starting QB job and the right to wear # 7 . Both would love to see disgruntled Eagles WRDeSean Jackson in a Jets uniform. The Jets parted ways with Mark Sanchez but that may not free up enough cash for # 10. The number ten is free because free agent Santonio Holmes last wore it and I don’t think he will be back.
Mark Sanchez was the 5th overall pick in the 2009 draft and in four seasons before missing the 2013 season he had passed for 12,092 yards at a 55% completion percentage.
His record as a starter in the regular season was 33-29 and in the playoffs he was 4-2 He threw 68 TD’s and 69 Ints with a career passer rating of 71.7
Rumors say the Rams and the Eagles are interested in Mark as a potential backup.
Patriots HC Bill Belichick put in his annual requests to the NFL league office for 4 rule changes to be considered. Bill would like:
-the goal posts extended 5’ taller. This would make it easier for the officials to get it RIGHT. This proposal will get accepted by the NFL.
- Put 6 more cameras at each end zone to help the officials get it RIGHT. Bill says he understand that this is expensive and thinks that maybe the teams could have a BAKE SALE!
- Make reviewable every subjective play that an official can call. He thinks that if they start at that end and then work back it would be more effective.
- back the PAT back to the 25 yard line essentially making it a 42 yarder. Bill says, “just make it a competitive play”
Bill Belichick was asked by reporters at the annual coaches breakfast if Vince would be back and Bill said “ go ask Vince”
Bill was asked about the Revis signing and how he would impact the team’s defense.
Bill replied “Revis is a good player and I’m sure he will compete. We’ll put him in the mix and see how it works out.
Jim Irsay’s daughter CarlieIrsay-Gordon will be running the team operations while Jim “recovers” in an unnamed facility. King Roger is considering an NFL punishment which would probably be something like forcing the Colts to play in London for the next five seasons.
Tampa Bay WR Mike Williams was stabbed by his brother in the leg in a home domestic disturbance…his neighbors seemed to indicate that Williams isn’t really that good of a neighbor and is generally despised around the block.
Lovie Smith will probably be looking for some way to dispense of Williams before the team gets training camp underway. One thing is for sure, Smith won’t let Williams mess up his second opportunity to HC and NFL team.
Vince Wilfork cleaned out his locker and removed his name tag in his personal protest to being asked to restructure his contract (take a pay cut) He said please release me. Owner Robert Kraft expressed his desire to keep Vince who is coming of a season ending Achilles tear. How it’s healed and how effective the man who is a cheeseburger shy of 400 lbs will be is yet to be seen. If you remember last season Kraft expressed his desire to keep Wes Welker…Robert doesn’t call the player/personnel shots in Foxboro.
As a Pats and Vince fan I would love to see him finish his career with the Pats. He and Tom Brady are the last player connections to SB 39 in Feb of 2005 oh so long ago.
Back to the MLB,
The Ticket City people put out there biannual “most loyal MLB fans” rankings based on the following for the 2012-2013 seasons: Total attendance, Average home attendance, Average home ticket prices, percentage of stadium filled for home games, face book likes and twitter following.
Here is the results:
1. San Francisco Giants
2. New York Yankees
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
4. St Louis Cardinals
5. Boston Red Sox
6. Philadelphia Phillies
7. Texas Rangers
8. Detroit Tigers
The top 10 teams with the highest average ticket prices are;
1. Boston Red Sox $53.38
2. New York Yankees $51.55
3. Chicago Cubs $44.55
4. Philadelphia Phillies $37.42
5. Washington Nationals $35.24
6. St Louis Cardinals $33.11
7. Toronto Blue Jays $32.98
8. Minnesota Twins $32.59
9. San Francisco Giants $30.09
10. Houston Astros $30.09
The beer prices at MLB parks top ten countdown
!0. San Francisco $6.75 small draft 16 oz
9. St Louis $6.75 small draft 16 oz
8. Atlanta $7.25 small draft 16 oz
7. Chicago Wrigley $7.25 small draft 16 oz
6. Boston $7.25 extra small draft 12 oz
5. Toronto $7.35 small draft 16 oz
4. Minnesota $7.50 20 oz draft
3. Philadelphia $7.75 21 oz draft
2. Miami $ 8.00 16 oz draft
1. Washington $ 8.25 16oz draft
As you can see the average baseball fan supports his team and overpays for the product on the field and the beverage in his cup.
I started to dig into parking prices at MLB fields and came to one conclusion…no team in the Majors is anywhere close to the Boston Red Sox in parking prices that start at $40 bucks. Peter King of Sports Illustrated once said, “When going to a Red Sox game it’s actually cheaper to park in a no parking tow away zone than in the specified lots. It’s a $25 fine for the parking ticket and they won’t tow you on game days because there is no way for them to go to get to you with a tow truck because the roads are to narrow and are filled with cars parked in the tow away zones.
Don’t forget to check out my Boston and Thursday amigo Lanz… right over there
It has been somewhat of a slow week in sports this week the brackets have been busted mine as soon as Ohio State lost too Dayton I was done. Syracuse and Duke bowing out as Mercer gave them some Mercer. The first couple rounds were just exciting and crazy and that’s what makes this tournament fun so I hope the NCAA doesn’t screw it up by adding more teams in the future. They shouldn’t have gone to 68. 64 worked fine we don’t need play ins.
This should be another week of exciting games. I think Dayton has a shot for the elite eight as they will go up against Stanford. UCLA could throw a scare Florida’s way as well. But that is what this tournament is about the unknown.
On the local front the Boston Red Sox gave David Ortiz his deal a 1 year extension for 15 million and a couple option years. Now maybe the Big Guy can stop whinning and concentrate on hitting 2 for 35 this spring. I get the hometown hero and the guy has been good for the Sox and for that matter the city of Boston. But I would have waited the season out let him finish the current contract and go from there. He may have a great year by all means give him another but given his age. Why not see what this year brings first. I understand the Red Sox rewarded him for being a good player and all. I just would have waited.
Meanwhile in Foxboro Vince Wilfork is upset that the Patriots may want him to restructure his contract. I think they will get it done. However, Vince isn’t happy he reportedly cleared out his locker and ripped his name plate down. The guy is coming of a bad injury at his size and age. Teams won’t take a chance on him. The other thing is the Patriots have no problem cutting players. They even left one of their most dedicated guys Kevin Faulk over the years off the Superbowl Roster in his final season.
Belichick was hucking it up with the media at the owners meetings. The Patriots proposed as a rule change cameras on the goalline and the end line to help see if the ball crossed the plane of the goalline and to help with inbounds and outbounds on the endline and sideline of the end zone. So some reporter asks him how is the Billion dollar NFL going to pay for the cameras. (stupid Question) Bill says I don’t know a bake sale or maybe a car wash. He went on to explain that each stadium has 100’s of cameras they can see if a fan spilled a beer on another fan. Bill may have a point but it was classic BB.
The wind was awful today and most of Massachusetts escaped a blizzard sorry Cape Cod you got it bad. We didn’t even get a flurry North of the city. The weather is not baseball friendly with opening day on Monday. At least the Red Sox don’t open here until next Friday the fourth against the EX American League Brewers.Maybe it will reach 50 by then.
I was driving Lil Lanz to Hockey tryouts and he says I wish we had our names on the back of our jersey’s. He says he would customize his and have it say Miser. I immediately thought of the XFL and Yes non other than He Hate Me. So I say to him they did that stuff in the XFL. He says whats the XFL so I explained it to him . How the wrestling Guy formed a Football League and it wasn’t great football with some crazy rules. Then it dawned on me that the XFL started in 2000, played 1 season in 2001. Lil Guy was born in 2002. Just a reality moment.
LIL Warriors Report
The boys got back out of the loss column this week and sealed fourth place for the playoffs. They tied 2-2 Saturday and won 5-4 on Sunday. Lil Lanz got the game winning assist. I nice shot from the right circle and Lil Bobby tipped it home. The hero was Lil Steve he wore the hat first year player and he got a hat trick and made a great defensive play. Kid has came along way since September. LIl Lanz checked the score sheet for his assist. Coach Dave ended up giving him the sheet. He ended up giving it to lil Steve..
Lanz here got called back behind the bench Saturday as Head Coach Glen had to leave at the end of the first period. Boys have there first playoff game on Sunday at 4:30 a win they will play next Saturday a loss they are done for the season. They have gotten some ice time this week a two hour tryout last night which tries to place the kids on the right level team. Practice Friday.and the game Sunday.
Meanwhile Laser was going to play his final season of Youth lacrosse and has decided to just play baseball instead not wanting to risk head trauma.