It has taken me a week to come up with the words to describe the feelings I have towards the loss of "Mr. Padre" Tony Gwynn, but now I think I can share my feelings....
Unless you were born or growing up during this era, you really don't know about this era of baseball. There were many legendary players still lacing up their cleats and roaming the dugouts from Pete Rose who was winding up his career with a variety of teams, hell I seen him play for Montreal, Philadelphia and then return home to his beloved Reds all in the span of a year. Gary Carter came to San Diego on one of the most memorable Home Run hitting streaks that baseball had ever witnessed. Nolan Ryan and the Niekro brothers came to town, and yes I even seen a young Ryne Sandberg at the beginning of his career. Goose Gossage was the closer, man if you sat down the baselines and the Padres were winning, you could tell who was warming up by the popping of the catcher's mitt in the bully. Those were the days.......
Sure the Padres were an up and coming team full of rookies and veterans who were finishing their careers in a place were it was considered the end of most professional careers, San Diego. A city that really hadn't tasted winning until this young group of players came through the city, outside of Tony Gwynn, can any of you name players from the 84' World Series team? The Padres that year had even gave up on a future star of the game and traded a young Ozzie Smith to the Cardinals for Garry Templeton. Not a bad trade, both were equal in talent at the time. But who knew Ozzie would have the career that he had, not many at the time did in San Diego, but I never heard anyone complain...
I was heading on a North Pole run in July onboard the USS Pintado, that did not return to port until just before Thanksgiving of 84', so I missed the magical run the Padres went on that year. When we left, they were dead in the water, found out when we returned to port because everyone in San Diego were still talking about the unheard of trip to the World Series.....
Tony Gwynn and his young Padres, Bruce Bochy was a catcher on this team went on an impossible run. Dumped the Cubbies, when the Cubbies had them dead in the water. The Cubs should have been facing the Tigers that year, not that it would have mattered much, because that Tiger team was that good.......
My greatest memory of Tony wasn't the winning seasons, because there weren't many. But the fact that he like Alan Trammell only played for one team. No matter how bad the teams were, you never heard of either wanting to leave. They were honored to wear their uniforms, and both represented their cities well....
Tony's death was a wakeup call for me, as I used smokeless tobacco for quite a while. I guess the only thing I have to say about it, is it woke me up, and I have completely quit using it. I guess it took the death of someone I had great respect for in order for it to happen, but I am glad I did..
I am not standing on a pedistol or preaching to the choir, or even pretending that I am better than others. It just scared the hell out of me, and I didn't use Redman or Skoal, I just decided enough was enough, Thank You Tony for opening my eyes!
You will be missed greatly by your family and friends, and those who really didn't get to know you, but had great respect for you because of who you were. Mr. Padre, save a seat for me brother next to Jerry and Ernie, because you have the best view of the game my friend,
While looking forward to a couple of premieres on TV tonight...
And you can follow me on Twitter: @TheOneTrueJay
San Diego Padres - Like many others here on YouGabSports and in the sports media at large, I was stunned and saddened when I learned of the passing of Tony Gwynn this week. He was the greatest Padre ever and one of the best hitters in the history of baseball.
I also get a sense of frustration over his death because the salivary cancer that killed him was due to his habit of using chewing tobacco. As one who has lost someone (my dad) to tobacco related cancer, I'm left with the screaming in my head that sounds something like this: "WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET BALLPLAYERS TO WAKE UP!"
Of course that applies to anyone using tobacco in any form, but really now, short of the warnings on the packaging saying "USING THIS WILL FUCKING KILL YOU!", what does it take to get people to realize tobacco will kill you?
I realize the irony of my anti-tobacco rant given my screen avatar of the smoking skull, but my avatar is just a picture AND the skull should drive home my point as well.
I'm not one to become any sort of activist or anything, but I would have no problem with tobacco being outlawed entirely. Of course, that won't happen since the government is both on the take from the tobacco industry and busy on other such "important" topics like the Redskins (see more on that below).
New York Liberty - The Liberty lost three games this week and fell to 3-10 on the regular season. They started with a 76-72 loss to the Connecticut Sun, then lost in OT to the Chicago Sky 105-100. But Friday night's game against the Atlanta Dream saw New York just get hammered 85-64.
I hate being a Negative Nelly here, but with their record the way it is, you have to wonder if their season isn't technically over already. It is starting to get ugly as hell out there.
New England Patriots - I've been making a concerted effort to read the various stories being published about the team and individual players during the latest round of minicamp for the Patriots. It's been relatively painless, but sometimes you just wonder if they are filling space because a lot of the stuff being written falls into the category of "Who gives a good goddamn?"
Cleveland Browns - Mike Pettine is the new coach of the Browns and he was in the news this week after comments he made about the Patriots having a Jets playbook got blown up into a big news story. You can check out this profile of the new coach in which he makes the comments: http://mmqb.si.com/2014/06/19/mike-pettine-cleveland-browns-coach/
Washington Redskins - With the news that the US Patent & Trademark Office had canceled some of the trademarks the team had based on the fact the "Redskins" term is disparaging (something laws take into account), the pressure on Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change the team's name is growing stronger and stronger. The team immediately appealed, so for now the trademarks stay in place. But everyone that is openly against the team name spent a few days last week crowing like they'd found the cure for cancer.
I realize that as a white guy my opinion is automatically discounted but I've never really seen the name as offensive. When I heard the term "Redskins", I thought of the football team in Washington that used to be damn good back in the 1980s. I think of Joe Gibbs, Joe Theismann, John Riggins, Art Monk, Dexter Manley and others. I didn't think negative thoughts about American Indians.
And yes, I own a Redskins jacket from the days of my youth. What really chaps my ass is how this is such a big political bone for some of the Washington politicians. Criminal jag-offs like Harry Reid announced how they wouldn't attend a game until the name was changed. As if that was going to stop other people from going to games. Frankly, if I was Daniel Snyder, regardless of changing the name or not, I'd ban assholes like Reid from my team's games in perpetuity.
And then there is the people suing the team over the name. I asked on some forums I participate in whether or not simply changing the name would be enough to satisfy some people. Because it seems that there are two groups of people involved here.
The first group is those who want the term "Redskins" dropped period. And when the world's dictionaries defines "Redskins" as a racial slur, they certainly have an argument to make. But then there are those in the second group who want any and all terms that have been associated with American Indians in the past to be banned from use. Names like "Braves", Chiefs", "Sachems", "Warriors" and more.
This despite the fact that some of those words can be used for a variety of other people than just American Indians. Sure, I can see the notion of dropping the Indian logos as a compromise, but this group is hell bent on no compromises.
So the question becomes if the Redskins changed their name to Warriors or some other name but dropped any Indian logos/mascots, would that satisfy people? If not, be prepared for a huge battle over team names because if they browbeat Daniel Snyder into changing his name, every high school team with an Indian name or iconography will be getting harassed next.
By the way, just so it is on the record, I don't think the name should be changed. I don't see it as a slur regardless of how the dictionary defines the term. But regardless of how I feel and think about the subject, I acknowledge others feel differently and will attack Daniel Snyder relentlessly until he gives in. After all, they have the corrupt federal government on their side now.
I also don't like how certain media outlets and individual writers are refusing to use "Redskins" in their writing now. These same media types got bent out of shape when Bobby Knight refused to say "Kentucky" and substituted "That school in Lexington" because he had a problem with John Calipari. But their hypocrisy doesn't seem obvious to them when they say "The team from Washington". If for no other reason, it makes them seem addled as if they can't remember the name of the team. And accuracy also seems in question when the name isn't used.
TV - The season finale of Game of Thrones was underwhelming in some spots and fantastic in others. It set up some characters on new journeys and saw the passing of other relatively important characters too. The fourth season was excellent overall, though I was disappointed in the last two episodes more than usual.
Tonight on TNT, two shows premiere. It is the series premiere for The Last Ship. It is an apocalyptic drama where 80% of the world's population has been wiped out by a virus. The ship in question is tasked with trying to find a cure for said virus.
You can check out the series trailer below.
Meanwhile, the fourth season premiere of Falling Skies follows The Last Ship. TNT put the season premiere on On Demand early, so I've already watched it. It was interesting how they changed things up a bit on the heroes. Their circumstances change and a number of characters have changed in their attitudes as well. It was a very good premiere and I'll be looking forward to seeing what comes next.
Books - I finished reading the latest installment of Faye Kellerman's Decker/Lazarus mystery series entitled The Beast. Decent read as always and sets up some rather big changes in the lives of the main characters.
Movies - They released another new trailer for the UK for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie. There's a lot of new footage and dialogue and you can view it below.
Music - Tesla's new album is called Simplicity. I've got it and there will be a review at some point. For now, you can check out the video for the song "So Divine".
The new Ronny Munroe CD Electric Wake is due out on Tuesday June 24th. However, I received it in the mail this past Friday. A review will be coming for this disc as well. You can check out the video for the song "Pray" below.
Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn has died at the age of 54. The eight time batting champ played 20 years with the San Diego Padres. He was one of the greatest players of all-time with 3,141 hits, 1,383 runs, 1,138 RBI's, walked 790 times and only struckout 434 times. Tony was an 8-time batting champ, had 19 seasons of batting above .300, yet his greatest accomplishment might have been that he reached base in 75% of his times games that he played in, which was 2,440 games.
Baseball lost a great man and a great human being. RIP Tony Gwynn
There is a lot of noise coming out of California in 2012, in both the National and American League West divisions. With the Athletics, Angels, Dodgers, and Giants firmly entrenched into the playoff races, it is easy to forget that there is another team in California, just a little South of all the action, both geographically and in the standings. That said, it is easy to forget about the Padres, with a record of 69-75, the playoff picture has blown away and dreamers can hope it will resurface in 2013.
But with forgotten teams, there are also forgotten players, and there is one Padre in particular that has enjoyed a 2012 season worth remembering; Chase Headley.
Headley has been on the cusp for a few seasons, but the dark forces of Petco Park have prevented him from putting together the batting line that he was truly capable of. That has all changed in 2012, as Headley came into his own in a big way.
At 28-years-old and entering his prime, Headley is in the midst of his best season to date, without question. He's hitting a solid .282 with 27 home runs, 102 RBI, 80 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases. He leads the National League in games played and RBI. The home run total is equal to his last three season...COMBINED.
Oh did I mention that he only has a single other teammate, Carlos Quentin, with more than 10 home runs, and that teammate has played in only 80 games? Did I also mention he plays his home games at Petco Park?
Both of those questions deserve some merit when considering how great of a season Headley is having.
The lack of line-up protection is more clearly represented in Headley's career-high 72 walks received. It's hard to put together as solid of a season when your team poses no true offensive threats. The return of Quentin and his presence is clearly seen in Headley's first and second half splits:
Clearly, he got to see a lot more quality pitches in the second half with Quentin around.
As for the park splits, it is not quite as drastic, but it is obvious Headley would have a much better value outside of Petco Park, where batted balls go to die. You can call it the Reverse Coors effect if you would.
On any other team, a season like this would garner some sort of praise, some MVP votes or at least an All-Star nod. Well, Headley didn't get the latter, but if the media wants the example of a most valuable player, win/loss record aside, this is their man.
Don’t be mad Average Fan Detroit?? You won’t steal home here?? Olympic Uniforms foreign made?? Kid meets a tree?? Did ScottJax scare ya?? Orange squeeze into the ACC?? All this and more in this weeks edition of…
Sorry if my picture scared some people off. It did wonders at work, because since the picture was posted there have been no bug problems. LOL. So I made it up to you by posting a picture of Kate Upton.
Gotta love it that she is wearing a Yankee hat!! How’s that AFD!!
Okay, the uniforms look great. They should. They were designed and made by Ralph Lauren. So what’s the problem. The apparel were made in China and its causing an uproar in the United States Congress. Here is what some had to say:
"I am so upset. I think the Olympic committee should be ashamed of themselves. I think they should be embarrassed. I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference on taxes. "If they have to wear nothing but a singlet that says USA on it, painted by hand, then that's what they should wear," he said, referring to an athletic jersey.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters at her weekly news conference that she's proud of the nation's Olympic athletes, but "they should be wearing uniforms that are made in America."
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said simply of the USOC, "You'd think they'd know better."
In a statement, the U.S. Olympic Committee defended the choice of designer Ralph Lauren for the clothing at the London Games, which begin later this month.
"Unlike most Olympic teams around the world, the U.S. Olympic Team is privately funded and we're grateful for the support of our sponsors," USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said in a statement. "We're proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company, and excited to watch America's finest athletes compete at the upcoming Games in London."
"It is not just a label, it's an economic solution," said Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y. "Today there are 600,000 vacant manufacturing jobs in this country and the Olympic committee is outsourcing the manufacturing of uniforms to China? That is not just outrageous, it's just plain dumb. It is self-defeating."
Drew Brees found out what it will be like to be a very rich man having just signed a five-year $100 million contract that has $60 million of it guaranteed, an NFL-record. Drew’s first year of the contract will net him $40 million fully guaranteed ($37 million in bonus money and $3 million salary, carrying a $10.4 million cap hit).
No one can dispute how great a quarterback Drew Brees is. His records speak for themselves. But, could it only be a one year deal? In 2013, 5 days after the Super Bowl, the Saints will have a 3-day window, during the waiver period, to avoid paying another $15 million of guarantee money. In 2014, another $5 million is guaranteed under the waiver formula as is the remaining $39 million earned in 2015 and 2016.
Jason Kidd busted his Cadillac Escalade into a telephone pole east of Southampton Village. He was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor of driving while intoxicated. Kidd was so drunk he didn’t know what happened. He did sustain minor injuries.
I am not a Los Angeles Dodgers fan, so nothing could please me more than to see the Padres steal one from the Dodgers. The Padres trailing 6-5, with two out in the top of the ninth, pinch-runner Everth Cabrera on third and Will Venable on second. With a 2-2 count on hitter Alexi Amarista and Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jansen wondering how to pitch to him, Cabrera dashed home. See the video to see what happens.. Ah, it can wait. Cabrera steals home as Jensen threw the ball passed catcher A.J. Ellis, and Venable had also come around to score with the winning run.
Here is the clip:
Syracuse will be leaving the Big East and joining the Atlantic Coast Conference on July 1, 2013, a year early than originally planned. Syracuse will pay the Big East a fee of $7.5 million. So far no word if Pittsburgh will be leaving in 2013 or 2014.
If Pitt does leave in 2013, as some are saying this is what will happen next year:
The new ACC will go to a 9 game conference schedule.
Each team will play every year against its own division.
Two games will be against an opponent in the other division.
One team will be designated as a “cross-over” team an play each other every year.
North Carolina State
Syracuse will play Pittsburgh every year as the “cross-over” team.
The will leave 3 non-conference games for the ACC to play.
More NFL players who were tendered franchise tags signed long-term contracts on Monday.
Ray Rice a 5-year contract worth $40 million. Ray will get $17 million this year and $8 million in 2013.
Matt Forte signed a four-year deal worth about $32 million, $17 million of it guaranteed.
Josh Scobee signed a four-year deal worth about $14 million, about $3.4 million a year with $4.75 guaranteed.