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Monday Moaning - 8/25/14
Posted by B.O.B. on Monday, August 25, 2014 at 12:01:09 AM

Happy Labor Day Weekend.  I know Country isn’t the most popular choice here at The Gab, but this video I play every Labor Day Weekend is my way of honoring the hard working folks who struggle every day doing it the right way just to keep even – you folks are in no way honored enough, and I for one am tired of others trying to steal little pieces of what you all work hard your whole life for!!!  Let the words speak for themselves.

The reality is that this type of worker is becoming more and more rare based on pure greed on both sides, but know this folks, you have at least one fan here, and many, MANY more.  And by the way, Alabama is THE BEST country music out there!

But before I move on to what we all came here to do, allow me a rant would ya:  I am really trying to get into sports on the regular X’s and O’s level, I swear to you all I am.  But my goodness, the idiotic greed and unmatched stupidity of professional sports right about now is mind-boggling, and unfortunately, I have to discuss it here today.  For that I profusely apologize.

Mary Jane.  How freaking stupid do you have to be to spark up then go and drive?  I generally don’t give a damn if you do smoke weed, except when your Jamacian Voodoo Posse imitation invades my space and/or you’re operating machinery and putting yourself (but more importantly others) at risk.  If you ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY have to smoke, can you at least wait until you freaking get home and know you aren’t going anywhere?  DAMN!

MLB – Oakland/Anaheim/Seattle.  How great a story is the AL West for MLB?  Oakland took two thrillers Friday and Saturday night that had ole Uncle B.O.B. glued to a Baseball game on TV, and that takes A LOT...

MLB – LA/SF.  Milwaukee gave San Francisco an absolute gift last week, and looke what they did with it:  pissed it away.  What happened Sunday in Washington was a flameout of epic proportion by the gas can known as the SF bullpen.  Good Lord, how do you go from being up 6-2 to down 14-6?  Jesus...

NFL – Mike Ditka.  How dare Mike Ditka express his opinion on this battle regarding the Washington Football Franchise nickname.  Who the hell is he?  Well, here is what he said and by golly I'm gonna stand up to him - the PC Army needs to fight this scourge of a man and darn it, like Al Bundy on Labor Day, I'm just the guy to take on Iron Mike.  Did you read what that pathetically obnoxious little man said?  Well, the short version is here.  I wonder how long before ESPiN drops the hammer on him?  Shameless plug alert:  I will be having a blog next week which directly addresses this issue:  If you are PC, I’m here for you – to support your vision and to encourage you that your efforts haven't gone far enough and I'm making a proposal that should solve this problem of nicknames!  YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!

http://www.buffalobills.com/news/article-1/DL-Landon-Cohen%E2%80%99s-case-getting-stronger/11a08407-c13c-4617-9d78-241e53e086b1

NFL Preseason.  Landon Cohen of the Buffalo Bills is my newest favorite player in the NFL.  Why?  Because he’s a fat guy who recovered a fumble, rumbled 59 yards with the rock and showed some good cuts.  Too bad he ran out of gas and slowed down to let the Steelers tackle his ass.  What is it John Madden says:  “I love it when a fat guy gets the ball”???

NFL Preseason – Weekend #3.  They say that this is the weekend to get an idea of what your teams will look like at the start of the season and if what I saw is any indication, you could almost hand the Lombardi Trophy back to those whiny bastards in Seattle, though a case could be made for an improved Green Bay and New Orleans.  Meanwhile, 30 teams are gonna get overshadowed by douchebaggery coming out of New York and Cleveland, both of which will be worthless.

NBA – The Big Trade.  It’s official and America’s (and ESPiN's) self-appointed #1 NBA fan Bill Simmons is pissed:  Kevin Love is going to Cleveland to help LeBron win that title for long-suffering Cleveland.  Let me beat ESPiN to the punch:  The Cavs are not just must-see TV, but the first team favored to go 82-0 and sweep the playoffs.  THEY’RE THAT GOOD!!!   You see ESPiN, I just saved you some time, so don’t bother. 

Hey Simmons, no trade you can engineer (since we know Danny Ainge just LOVES to hear your rumors because you are so much smarter than him - that's why you're a blog site editor and he's a championship winning General Manager) will help the Celtics stay with the Cavs.

Let me be 100% serious for a moment:  I am going to enjoy the hell out of this if it blows up and Cleveland doesn’t live up to the hype.  It’s no disrespect to Cleveland, but a hell of a lot of disrespect to the hype machines, and that whiny little (bleep) Kevin Love. 

But wait, somebody with a sense of logic chimed in:  Here’s the scouting report when playing against Cleveland, RUN!  For the first eight seconds of the shot clock you’ll get to play 5 on 4 because Love will still be down on the other end pouting about something.  It’s very similar to what we go through in Sacramento when the Kings whine to the refs while the opponent goes 4 on 1 for the same reason.

NBA – Joel Embid.   Hey Joel, you know you’ve screwed up on Twitter when the Iron Sheik gets loose and asks you:  “you have the kush bubba?”  You get props for having brass balls on Twitter trying to get with Rihanna or whoever – it’s actually pretty funny somewhat – if it didn’t sound so pathetic.  Hey Joel, if a chick says “Get back with me when you’re rich and famous…” trust me my man, you don’t want none of that! 

Come on Joel – you’re now a millionaire and trust me, you don’t need the drama of Rihanna in your life, you’re a freaking rookie on a team desperate to improve right away.  Focus on the roundball and find something less distracting.

NBA – Kobe Bryant.  Once again when he has a chance to keep his mouth show he's not a Richard Cranium, Kobe Bryant just can't avoid saying something freaking obnoxious.  This time?  Here he says elite players like LeBron and of course himself are underpaid and that the salary cap isn’t fair to the big dogs.  So it’s fairer for the elite players to make as much as they can while the owners low ball the ham and eggers?  I can’t wait for the liberals who want everybody to share talk about this one.  Wait, no response?  Shocking, a double standard.

Yeah, way to stand up for ALL players in the league Kobe – so typically you.  Get yours and fuck 90% of the league, who if they didn’t exist, there’d be no NBA.  Hey Mr. Bryant, I hate to burst your bubble, but you aren’t as elite as you might think now.  So I guess you should give back your money and give it to Carmelo or Dwight Howard, or Kevin Durant, or CP3 or because they are far more worthy of it, right?

Douchebag of the Week - NFL – Super Bowl Halftime Show.  The NFL is really trying to force performers to pay them for the privilege of performing at halftime of the Super Bowl?  Now I hate these Hollyweird freaks, but if I was every single one of them and this rumor was true, I’d laugh at the NFL and tell them to piss off. 

Besides, no self-respecting Gabber is going to watch that, well, except for the pervs who will just be hoping for a Katy Perry wardrobe malfunction.  But then again, this is who the NFL is trying to get to perform:  Katy Perry, Rihanna, or Coldplay?  Good Lord, Kirk Franklin and his gospel choir are probably more popular.   

Now, to provide an opposing view, our friend Doug is also right – let the market dictate this.  If the NFL wants to get greedy, they’re within their right.  But let me say this:  if the NFL is gonna go this route, how long before they don’t give a damn and find a way to go PPV for regular season games or the Super Bowl?

 

Comments?(20)

TGIF - Let's talk Baseball - 8/22/14
Posted by B.O.B. on Friday, August 22, 2014 at 12:00:00 AM

Hey y’all.  Sorry, had to go the Paula Deen route.  Hey, I figured while Sully was away, I'd have a little fun.  Not funny?  OK, on to the sports, where today I want to talk about Baseball: 

“The one constant through all the years (Ray) has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.”

James Earl Jones in Field of Dreams (1989) (imdb.com)

I was reminded of this quote recently and it’s amazing to me how accurate it truly is.  As a kid, I couldn't get enough of Baseball and maybe it's a bit melancholy or whatever, but Baseball kinda did represent what was once good and now what can be again, as we witness what I call the rebirth of the sports since about 2010.  No matter how down we get on the sport, we watch.  We pay to travel nearly 2000 miles and watch a game between two teams that you really don’t know or care about.  We go to Spring Training because we missed the game so over a long cold Winter – as if Ole Man Winter moves aside for the game.  We get fired up in late March, early April for Opening Day, some going as far as taking the day off.   You get the sense that Baseball is on the upswing…

But I also worry.  When the LLWS outdraws MLB in TV ratings by nearly double, that’s a sign.  I worry when I read and hear about casinos and sports books taking action on Little League games.  I worry when folks care more about NFL training camps and preseason football then they do about compelling races, and that leads me to this:

MLB Commish.  There is a lot of complaining from many places on the selection of Rob Manfred to replace Bud Selig by saying that it will be the same type of “leadership.”  Look, I don’t know Manfred, so I’ll reserve judgment on that, but what I do believe is that MLB needs a tweak to its vision.  Baseball has a lot going for it – tradition, fantastic Minor League Baseball that many fans eat up (both figuratively AND literally), and vastly improved MLB product in terms of competitive balance (on the field), but at the same time, I think it’s time we all look at the bigger picture and start to try to bring back the casual fan.

We’ve all talked about what we would do if we were commish, and from the outside looking in, this is what I would do (revised):

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:11391747

1.   Enforce the pitch clock per Rule 8.04 of the MLB Rule Book, but tweak the rule so that the batters are penalized for delay of game just as much as pitchers are.  Oh, what you say, there's rule 6.02(b)?  You mean this, straight out of the MLB Rule Book...

6.02:  The batter shall take his position in the batter’s box promptly when it is his time at bat.
(b) The batter shall not leave his position in the batter’s box after the pitcher comes to Set Position, or starts his windup.
PENALTY: If the pitcher pitches, the umpire shall call “Ball” or “Strike,” as the case may be.
Rule 6.02(b) Comment: The batter leaves the batter’s box at the risk of having a strike delivered and called, unless he requests the umpire to call “Time.” The batter is not at liberty to step in and out of the batter’s box at will.
Once a batter has taken his position in the batter’s box, he shall not be permitted to step out of the batter’s box in order to use the resin or the pine tar rag, unless there is a delay in the game action or, in the judgment of the umpires, weather conditions warrant an exception.
Umpires will not call “Time” at the request of the batter or any member of his team once the pitcher has started his windup or has come to a set position even though the batter claims “dust in his eyes,” “steamed glasses,” “didn’t get the sign” or for any other cause.
Umpires may grant a hitter’s request for “Time” once he is in the batter’s box, but the umpire should eliminate hitters walking out of the batter’s box without reason. If umpires are not lenient, batters will understand that they are in the batter’s box and they must remain there until the ball is pitched.
If pitcher delays once the batter is in his box and the umpire feels that the delay is not justified he may allow the batter to step out of the box momentarily. If after the pitcher starts his windup or comes to a “set position” with a runner on, he does not go through with his pitch because the batter has stepped out of the box, it shall not be called a balk. Both the pitcher and batter have violated a rule and the umpire shall call time and both the batter and pitcher start over from “scratch.”

Hmmm...this is getting scary, Olbermann is right, MLB ain't serious about this because if they were, they'd do it - it's all about the $$$...

2.   Joe Morgan has or had an excellent program where he was trying to get baseball back into the inner cities.  MLB needs to partner up with him if they don’t already.

3.   This one isn’t realistic, but what I would summarily do as commish would be to put feet to the fire in Miami, Tampa, and Atlanta where fan support is minimal at best.  I honestly would look at relocation and/or contraction with these three teams and warn these markets that they are at risk of relocation or demotion to AAA – after all, it’s a business and something is not right if you can’t get fans to games.  Personally, I would look at Portland and San Antonio as relocation outfits.

4.  If Gambling is such a HUGE issue for Baseball, if it is true that there are casinos and sports books taking bets on LLWS, I would pull my support of those casinos who partake and shut down their right to take bets on MLB. 

5.  I would hang my foot in San Francisco’s ass with their continuous blocking of Oakland trying to get into San Jose by charging SF a fee to MLB for their continued demand and claim of that area.  Then I would hang my foot in the Oakland owners ass by demanding they and the city of Oakland either build a new stadium downtown, in the South Bay near Fremont, or in the East Bay valleys and give them three years to commit to it.  If there is no agreement by 2018 with a scheduled groundbreak date, I would announce plans to move the team by having a previously written, binding agreement with either Portland or San Antonio to bring the franchise there in 2019. 

6.  Throttle back on the greed by 14.28% and make it more affordable for a family to go to a game and reasonably enjoy it one day a week.  Now look, I don’t begrudge clubs for making their money, but can you at least take one day and cut the prices?  Surely you can afford a 14% cut one day a week?  Hell, maybe you could sell out a game or two? 

Example:  If you’re Minnesota and you have Cleveland or the New York Mets coming to town on a Wednesday, that won’t draw much interest, right?  Drop the prices in advance, advertise it as a one-day a week special, and fill the place with the noise of families and kids.  Wouldn’t that make sense for teams who are out of the race in September to bring in some fans?

7.  I would also look at using “best interests of the game” caveat to go after organizations with poor ownership.  By that I mean this, I would hire experienced and successful people to go in and consult on how to make their product more interesting to the organization in their city, and if there was no improvement over the years, well, like any other business, I would adjust in some way.

MLB.  Colin Cowherd is like Keith Olbermann, a pompous, arrogant big city ass, the very embodiment of today’s media.  But at the same time, he does have some fair takes.  First off, he says he goes to MLB games every year, and he doesn’t go to NFL games – which I find interesting and a comment like that while only from one talking head should have the NFL at least thinking.  Secondly, he talks about Bud Selig talking about his dinners with old MLB legends such as Al Kaline and Frank Robinson, to which Cowherd says “Spend dinners with Mike Trout and Bryce Harper”.  Thirdly, he talks about the “regional” issue by saying yes, it exists, but he rightfully points out that the New York teams have problems getting people to go to games. 

But then he gets stupid and says that San Francisco has been abysmal to watch the last four years.  Hey Colin, I hate to burst your bubble in whatever alternate world you live in, but San Francisco has won two of the last four World Series titles.  Idiot.

Baseball – Seattle.   Should we be surprised by their performance this season?  Ten games over .500 and making a good run towards the playoffs despite the naysayers who keep wanting to bury them?

  • Hitting.  With every stat I could find, Seattle is consistent – they rank between 18 and 21 in every hitting stat.  Seattle as a team is batting .246.  I don’t care what anybody says, Robby Cano IS NOT a disappointment in Seattle (.329 BA, 11 HR, 69 RBI, 10 SB) and should be on his way to a 200 hit season.  SS Chris Taylor was brought up recently and is hitting .338, though he is cooling off hitting .269 in his last ten.

 

  • Pitching.  It’s pretty clear to me that pitching is carrying the Mariners to this point.  As usual, King Felix is tearing it up, but this kid Hisashi Iwakuma isn’t too far behind at 12-6, 2.57 ERA, with 120 strike outs, while he has gone seven innings or more eight of his last ten games.  Meanwhile Chris Young is 12-6 with a 3.07 ERA. 

 

  • Future.  #1 Mariners prospect Taijuan Walker has apparently made it to the bigs as a closer, though shoulder soreness is slowing him down, though I’m not sure why Seattle rushed to bring him up as he was struggling at AAA level.  #4 Chris Taylor (SS) is having a strong 2014 at AAA (.314, 5 HR, 37 RBI, 14 SB) and has been brought up as well.  In fact in 302 AB, has had 34 extra base hits.  Yet another SS prospect doing even better?  That would be #10 Ketel Marte who was tearing up AA and started off AA real strong.  In 2014, he has a .306 BA, 51 RBI, 26 SB).  Carson Smith is another RP AAA guy whose expected to be brought up soon, and #17 OF Xavier Avery has folks hopeful if he can remain consistent.  Oh, and there is this guy Danny Hultzen who was taken overall #2 in the 2011 draft who will be coming back next season from a torn rotator cuff.  If he’s healthy, you might see him in Spring Training with an outside shot at making the team.

Comments?(11)

Tuesday's Tantrum, 8/19/14
Posted by B.O.B. on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 12:00:00 AM

It honestly seems like just yesterday that we all were celebrating the 4th of July.  Now, I’m starting to actually think of a COSTCO run and what I need to get for Labor Day Weekend BBQ.  Wow…

Middle B.O.B.’s excellent adventure.  This week she came home from Madison with a whole bunch of cheese and cheese curds, some really good mixes, and next week for her final week, she’s gonna pick up some more, mostly Green Bay Packer stuff for some Packer fans out here. 

A 2014 Goal achieved.  I’m a socially awkward SOB, yet one of my goals in 2014 was to get out of the bunker and expand my comfort zone.  I’ve volunteered at the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars to be their “Communications Committee Chairman.”  I will build their website, create a quarterly newsletter, and start up their social media areas to work to get our message out.

But that pales in comparison to going out last Wednesday and visiting veterans and those connected with veterans at the senior center in the next town over and spending time with them, having cake and ice cream, and just yapping.  I heard some very interesting stories from a WW2 vet from Midway Island and the Philippines that didn’t start off so well, but ended up being one of those crazy Navy only “less than PC sea-stories” in the end.  Props to my 90-something year old brother vet, and it impresses me that this Navy SEABEE still had a “can do” attitude at his age walking around pretty damn good.  Others told me of their memories of their kids going off to war in Vietnam.  God Bless him, God Bless them all, and God bless those doctors, nurses, and support staff there!  Talk about doing God’s work…

But it’s a two way street - they are also helping me.  For whatever reason, I can’t get over being so damn uncomfortable in public (especially in hospitals), and these folks made me feel welcome.  We look forward to going back next month, this time with Mrs. B.O.B. who really wants to go.

MLB Races.  Hey folks, I mocked ESPiN last week when Baltimore went up 5.0 games, but guess what now?  They’re up 7.0 – hey suits, stay away from shower rods!  Meanwhile, Detroit is screwing around and Kansas City now is up one game on them, and as for Oakland, well, their bats better wake up because Anaheim has caught em and Seattle has closed it to six games.

Over in the NL, all of a sudden the Nats are getting hot up 6.0 games, Milwaukee swept a series from the Dodgas this weekend and are up 3.0, and those dirty water thieves somehow can’t run away from a fading Giant team – they’re only up 3.5. 

MLB – Oakland.  I think we have enough sample size to work with here, and I think my first reaction to the Cespedes/Lester trade was right – it hasn’t worked for Oakland yet, though Lester is doing his part. 

MLB - Atlanta.  I always question ESPiN's scheduling of Sunday Night games, but last night watching Oakland at Atlanta, I gotta actually ask myself if Atlanta even remotely deserves a professional franchise in any sport outside of Football.  Sunday Night National Game against the team with the best record in all of baseball that you just took three straight from and nobody wants to show?  Why on Earth would the folks in Atlanta want to build another stadium when the fans won't support this team?

MLB – Miami.  It’s the last part of August and Miami is sitting at 62-62, and while that alone should be cause for celebration, it’s also nothing spectacular, but nothing outrageously bad either.  Is it possible that this team may very well be on the right track and be a team of the future?

  • Pitching.  I can’t help but wonder where Miami would be if Jose Fernandez hadn’t gone out with that Tommy John stuff – they’d almost certainly have five more wins under their belt and be in MAJOR contention for the Wild Card.  Henderson Alvarez is having a good season (9-5, 2.43 ERA, 3 CG in 23 games).  He’s not much in terms of a SO machine, but he’s quite serviceable.  As a team, they do well in not giving up home runs, being #5 in MLB in that stat (89).  Steve Cishek has 31 saves, but a 4-5 record with a 3.78 ERA.  They need help in the pen – he can’t do it all by himself.
  • Hitting.  Miami sits in the middle of the pack when it comes to hitting, though they lead the league in striking out.  Casey McGehee has been a great surprise for them (.303 BA, 60 RBI in 121 games).  All world Giancarlo Stanton (.293 BA, 32 HR, 84 RBI, and even 10 SB).  I sure hope Miami can find a way to keep him away from the Yanks and Sawx who will make big time runs at him during Hot Stove.  Christian Yelich isn’t doing that bad either (.276 BA).  They need some plate discipline though, but that’s expected with such a young team.  

 

  • Future.  As with San Diego, Miami has a TON of pitching on the farm.  Down the line Miami’s #2 prospect Tyler Kolek is a guy I believe Jeff has mentioned before.  MLB.com says he’s not coming until 2018, but this 19-year old #2 pick has some great stuff.  Another pitcher closer to being ready may be #4 prospect Justin Nicolino (11-4, 2.85 ERA at AA in 2014).  #7 prospect is a Catcher, J. T. Realmuto (.290 BA, 6 HR, 52 RBI, 23 2B at AA), as is #16 Austin Barnes (.302 BA, 8 HR, 44 RBI, 25 2B).  I didn’t see too many sitting at AAA though… 

When you look at Miami, you see something is working slow but sure, and while asking Miami fans to have patience isn’t exactly fair, they do seem to build through the farm and it does tend to work on occasion.  Remember, they have won TWO World Series in the past.

NFL Preseason – Seattle.  Glad to see Seattle is doing what they do best, playing the victim.  A big deal was made about the emphasis on defensive holding, so right on cue Seattle players are bitching during sideline interviews calling it “the Seattle Rule” – in essence claiming it’s a conspiracy against them, and their media is all whining, most notably that noted homer Brock Huard - a main cog in the whiniest of all media markets.  What more does Seattle want from the NFL?  Between replacement refs giving you a game against Green Bay and last season, they have more than paid you back for that screw job in Super Bowl 40. 

Look victims (I mean Seattle):  This whole thing is like driving over the speed limit in a group of cars – you get away with it, but when you push your luck and go faster on your own, Johnny Law is there to whack you.  Same goes here:  when you blatantly violate the rules far and above what anybody else does, did you really think the NFL was going to let you get away with it a second year?  Just like every other franchise does each and every time the NFL adjusts, so you need to as well.     

We’re starting to get an idea of how Seattle is going to combat this emphasis on DB contact that’s going to affect  them, their WRs are flopping and initiating contact to get the call against their opponent.  I swear if the NFL goes NBA and Soccer, I may have to find something else to occupy my time…

But then again, what does it matter when San Francisco plays like stir-fried dookie in their first two pre-season games?  Right now, Seattle would blow these jokers out of the water.

NFL – San Francisco.  Hey Jim Harbaugh, what the hell was that on Sunday?  I get losing to the Donkeys, but 34-0?  In the dress rehearsal in your brand spanking new stadium?  Same mistakes as last year, lots of mental errors, just horrific.  There had better be a major turnaround next weekend.

NFL – Jimmy Graham.  I don’t know what got into this fool Saturday Night, but his deciding to celebrate post-TD KNOWING he’d get hit w/a 15 yard penalty and yet continuing to do it pissed off no-nonsense head coach Sean Payton who is one guy that you seriously don’t want to piss off. 

Hey Jimmy, I know what you’re doing, I know it has to do with your contract and your unhappiness, but let me clue you in on something – you ain’t shit without Payton and Drew Brees.  Pull your head out of your ass, do things the right way and don’t penalize your team because you’re pissed!

New York AFC Team and Fireman Ed.  How desperate and pathetic do they look here taking Fireman Ed to lunch and asking him come back and do the annoying chant?  To his credit, he told the team this:  “I said no because it was the same problem, I couldn’t take my kids to the game.  I told them I wouldn’t come back.”  Translated:  He knew his act wore thin, it rubbed many people the wrong way, and he’s moved on.  Let’s be honest here, the guy was as much of an attention whore as any Kar-trash-ian (including Bruce or whatever she calls herself now), but at the same time, he didn’t deserve ALL of the treatment he got from New York “fans” either. 

Johnny Freaking Football.  I really REALLY wanted to leave this spoiled punk alone, but he just makes it too easy.  Congratulations son, it took exactly a game and a half for the rest of the NFL to figure out how to push your buttons.  Oh, and just so we're clear you moron, Heath Evans of NFL Network is right, thinking that being late to meetings and flipping off opponents isn't a big deal means that you aren't "getting it."  Get ready for heckling from hell - if you think Washington was bad, just wait until Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are lining up against you.  Oh, and you aren't exactly lighting the world on fire playing QB either.

Hockey take.  February 21st, Levis Stadium is going to host one of the many outdoor games w/San Jose vs. LA.  Couple of thoughts here:  First a talking head asked a very pertinent question – where are we gonna get the water from?  Secondly, when it comes to Northern California, particularly in Santa Clara, we aren’t talking about a Winter Wonderland – it’s usually sunny and not terribly cold in Late February as we are all planning for Spring Training and stuff.  Fans will come, but I’m just not sure on this one.

     

Douchebag of the Week.  Quite honestly, there were so many candidates, but sometimes you just gotta smack your own for being a bunch of dumb shits, and Florida State, you just hit the freaking Douchebag of the Week lottery.  You seriously asked Famous Jameis to be a part of a Twitter “#askjameis” live session?  Gee, I can’t imagine what could have gone wrong there.  Holy crap, I wonder how many Publix, crab, or weak ass rape jokes were on there?  From what little I read – a lot…

Comments?(18)

Bad Penny is back, 8/16/14
Posted by B.O.B. on Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 11:49:38 AM

Folks, let’s call last week what it was, a bunch of crap.  The death of Robin Williams, Ferguson, Social Media blowing up with hatred and ignorance and bullshit, insufferable talking heads everywhere spewing non-sense so much more so than normal, the ongoing Tony Stewart crap, and a sports talk media trying to lecture MLB on how to improve (yeah, like they have any business giving anybody  improvement advice).   

 “Gooooooooood-byyyyyyye Vietnaaaaam! That's right, I'm history... I'm outta here. I got the lucky ticket home, baby. Rollin, rollin, rollin'... keep them wagons rollin', rawhide! Yeah, that's right... the final Adrian Cronauer broadcast... and this one is brought to you by our friends at the Pentagon. Remember the people who brought you Korea? That's right, the U.S. Army. If it's being done correctly, here or abroad, it's probably not being done by the Army.”

--Robin Williams as Adrian Cronauer (Good Morning, Vietnam), 1987

In this quote, “the people” in this quote is quite simply the media.  We can debate how Williams died and the other entire BS the media wants to yap about, but I choose not to do that here, only to say that he was one gifted entertainer, and that is how I will choose to remember him.  Well that, and his support of the military.  Hey Robin, In this world of foolishness and taking ourselves way too seriously, despite your own demons, you showed us through your humor that perhaps we should step back and just laugh, be silly on occasion, and more than that, be decent to one another.  Hey Robin, may you find peace!  May we in our lifetimes find peace, happiness, and a wonderful world:

Music.  Joe Bonamassa is starting to grow on me.                                  

Oh, sports?  Let's try some Baseball...

Baseball in general.  Hey, where has the art of the stolen base gone?

MLB – San Diego Baseball Franchise.  I was looking for something to write about baseball and I noticed this quiet little corner of MLB down in SD.  They’re 57-63 as of Friday, 7-3 in their last ten.  Here is a team that has played 120 games as of Friday, yet only five players have appeared in 90 games or more, and two more that have played 80 or more?  How the hell are they playing just below .500 ball with that kind of inconsistency?

It sure ain’t hitting: they’re dead last in team BA with a .226, and RBI’s (60 behind the two tied for second worst), and ranked #28 in HR.  In fact their RBI total is so bad, it is 102 RBI’s behind the MLB average (469 to SD’s 367).  The only guy who even remotely is having a good season is Seth Smith hitting .291 with 12 HR and 38 RBI.  Can somebody put out an APB for Jedd Gyorko (.196 BA, 7 HR, 36 RBI) and Yonder Alonso (.240 BA, 7 HR, 27 RBI?). 

Pitching?  Guess who is #2 in MLB in ERA?  Yep, San Diego at 3.06 (Seattle is #1!).  They’re also in a three way tie for #3 in Avg (.234), #4 in HRs given up (86), #6 in WHIP, and #10 in team Strike outs.  Former Oakland A Tyson Ross is 11-10 with a 2.63 ERA with 160 SO and a .228 average, but Jesse Han is 7-3 with a 2.52 ERA with an average of .189 with a very low walk count and he holds it down into at least the 6th but mostly the 7th innings.

In the minor leagues, they seem to have a ton of pitching prospects, but not much else.  Their #1 prospect is a catcher struggling to hit in the minors, and at #6 seems to be some promise OF Rymer Liriano whose hitting .291 in 115 games down on the farm.  Other than that, everybody in MLB.com’s top ten is a pitcher and/or sitting at AA or below.  No real hope anytime soon.  Hell, I had to dig to #14 to find Reymond Fuentes at AAA batting .294 in 88 games.  No power, but he has more SB than most which isn’t much.

So what does San Diego do?  Well, considering Petco’s dimensions, they seem to be doing what they can, but with all the pitching talent they have stocked up on, it may not be a bad idea for them to start looking at going after some sticks.  

Oh, and to the San Diego Baseball franchise deserve props for?  Yeah, providing tix in the stadium for USN and USMC boot campers to attend a ball game.  Marching in and out of that place looks pretty cool.

 

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Monday Moaning - 8/11/14
Posted by B.O.B. on Monday, August 11, 2014 at 1:46:10 AM

DISCLAIMER:  Caution, I have little tolerance this week and some folks are getting some adult language from me.  You’ve been warned.  Oh, and I’m all over the map this week.  Deal with it.

Welcome to YouGabSports.com where we talk about sports and ALL teams.  We aren’t a bunch of corporate suit wearing sell-out whores chasing a buck, we do it because we love sports and we love talking like all of us were sitting on a barstool yapping about stuff, sports, politics, whatever…

Middle B.O.B..  For three weeks, my daughter is splitting time between here and Madison, WI to learn her craft, and boy do they take care of her.  A freaking palace for a hotel room, and in her off time, she’s been walking and taking in the sights and grubbing to the mid-west beat, cheese curds, & a half brisket/half tater-tot pizza?  A quesadilla pizza?  What the hell?  They fly here home on weekends. 

Music and Grub.  Mrs. B.O.B. and I had a date night Saturday & we decided to go to the big city and have a nice dinner at a BBQ Smokehouse with cool live blues music – which by the way is a very underrated genre.  I tried something called Mardi Gras Chicken which was two deep fried breasts of chicken w/creole cream sauce topped w/Andouille sausage, shrimp, & red/yellow bell peppers – all on top of Garlic mashed taters while Mrs. B.O.B. had southern fried chicken.  Good stuff, huge portions.

Then we hit one of the bigger casinos in Crack-town.  When we got there we were surprised as the Parking Lot had a mini stadium there, and performing live was CCR and .38 Special.  Anyway we gambled which means Mrs. B.O.B. won, and I lost (of course).  I swear gambling is like requesting to get your nuts kicked in then going back and asking for them to kick you there again.

Speaking of getting my nuts kicked in, Mrs. B.O.B. probably wanted to do that to me too after I bugged her about going out of the way to hit a Sonic and get a Cherry Limeade.  We didn’t go.  Damn, another loss.

Baseball Races.  Psst, be vewy vewy quiet about this cause ESPiN doesn’t want you to know this, but  those dudes from Crab Cake Land have opened up a bit of a lead in the overhype division (err, AL East) of five games. 

Hey Bryce Harper, what is your major malfunction numb-nuts?  You seem to get yourself caught up in the silliest of shit.  Scuffing the "A" behind home plate as you came to bat?  In Atlanta?  We all know that there ain't know Braves fans, but stuff like that comes down to maturity and respect.  Seriously dude, that's some middle school little girl type shit - grow the hell up!  

MLB Network.  Friday Night, MLB Network stopped by Boston/Anaheim in the 8th inning and their rage was growing by the pitch with Junichi Tazawa.  It got to the point where they actually took out the stop watch and timed him taking 27 seconds between pitches, then 35, then 47, then 1:10 all consecutively.    

Chicago NL Baseball Team.  I wonder how Theo Epstein’s five year plan to build this team up is going?  It’s so hard to tell because when I look at the stats, it’s so inconclusive.  They rank #3 in the NL in HR, #8 in RBI, #10 in runs, and #13 in BA. 

This kid 1B Anthony Rizzo (any relation to Jerky Boy Frank Rizzo?) is batting .281 with 25 HR and 61 RBI in 111 games, while SS Starlin Castro is solid, though not spectacular - hitting .278 with 12 HR and 60 RBI, rebounding fairly nicely from a subpar 2013.   I guess a big deal is being made about this kid 2B Javier Baez who seems to be smacking the bejesus out of the ball (granted it was at Coors Canaveral) since his call up last Wednesday. 

I see this kid Kris Bryant is tearing up the minors with a .342 BA, 37 HR and 96 RBI this season in 115 games - I wonder how much longer Theo is gonna wait to call him up.  And team #6 ranked per mlb.com RF Jorge Soler is hitting .370 in the minors with 11 HR and 40 RBI in 45 games this season. 

But when I researched for pitching prospects…uh oh…Theo has a helluva lot of work to do on that Pitching staff, so it stands to reason they placed a claim on Cole Hamels, too bad it didn’t work out.  Chicago is 11th out of 15 NL teams with a 3.88 team ERA, gave up the fifth most ER in the NL, and have the second worst amount of saves in the NL (22).  Though one good stat is they rank #3 in the NL in SO.

NFL Preseason, Weekend #1.  Things weren’t as bad as I thought (CIN/KC)…too bad it’s gonna be overshadowed by a backup QB in Cleveland.  Talk about sellouts, damn you NFL Network!  Just when I thought I could go somewhere and not have “what sells” crammed down my throat, you go there…

It was great to see Minnesota play a game OUTDOORS.  I know it’s only temporary, but it’s cool nonetheless.

Mama B.O.B. Take.  YouGab’s South Florida reporter for Football is Mama B.O.B. and just like everybody else she’s getting excited for a new season, and she’s pretty damn knowledgeable on her sports.  Pats fans chill because she’s loves Miami, and if you get loose with stuff, she’ll blast you with an f-bomb or two, and that’s some funny shit.  I might give her some space on my blog to talk Dolphins all season.  So get a fred lite ready and keep a barstool open cause she might be coming in.

Anyway, even she was impressed by the Miami Dolphins (and that’s hard for her) in their loss to the Falcons.  She said the O-Line did GREAT for Tannehill and that new offense looks damn good.  She said the QB didn’t get touched at all and they played great.  This is the most excited about a Dolphin team she’s been in awhile.

College Sports.  So to use IHM’s comments over the past week, the NCAA Gravy Train just keeps on rollin.  I’m gonna call my shot now:  If I’m the Big 12, I make sure I have a backup plan in my pocket because In five years, the Big 12 will be the next conference to get steamrolled by the top four power conferences.  Texas will go to the Pac 12, Oklahoma to the SEC, and the rest of the Big 12 will be thrown to the wolves because they don’t make a lot of cheddar.   

Kevin Love.  The prima donna couldn’t lead a team to victory on her own, so she’s gonna ride LBJs coattails to being the Eastern Conference sacrificial lambs to the West.  On August 23rd Minnesota trades her to Cleveland for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and a 2015 #1 draft pick.  The second part of the trade is where Minnesota then trades Bennett to Philly for Thaddeus Young.

Minnesota NBA Basketball.  Yes, they still have horrific ownership and management, Flip Saunders has a whole lot to prove, and they still will struggle defensively.  But this time, these idiots have stumbled into a potentially very talented squad.  Add in the extra #1 pick next season, a very manageable salary situation in the future, and some depth to work trades, and this team has a future that should generate buzz around the Twin Cities. 

But before they start the new season, Flip Saunders and the Minny vets all need to go Leroy Jethro Gibbs go upside the head of one Zach LaVine (G, UCLA).  This punk is the very embodiment of why so many people are tired of the NBA and sports in general.  You’re going to the NBA with a chance to start and contribute to a team with some talent who had 40 wins last season, you’re getting paid at least 20x more than the average 21 year old who can’t find a job in this economy even with a degree in hand, and you have the audacity to bitch on draft night because Minnesota hired you?  EFF YOU!  The table couldn’t be better set for you and you wanna cry about going to the great white north?  BITCH! 

Douchebag of the Week.  This one goes out to the masters of Massengale, the NCAA and the power five conferences.  Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, and the rest La Cosa Nostra got nothing on these fools.  Where the hell is Elliott Ness when we need him???

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Freak Show Friday - 8/8/14
Posted by B.O.B. on Friday, August 08, 2014 at 12:00:00 AM

BAM!  Yep, it’s me, the Dan LeBatard of the Gab.  Back for another round of annoying takes, so let’s kick start this hopefully Aloha Friday with a few sports takes to set the table for the weekend…

Baseball Races.  I’ve been thinking that there are some franchise who might want some help from our friend Jobu…

Atlanta Braves, 2-8 in their last ten and now three games back from the second Wild Card. 

San Francisco, 5-5 in their last ten and one game up in the First Wild Card slot.  They need to get Angel Pagan back soonest, and need to pour an extra shot of rum to get their pitching back up to speed.

Philadelphia Phillies.  According to MLB.com, Cliff Lee is out for the season and the bats stink, so the Phillies actually went out and placed Cole Hamels and Marlon Byrd on waivers, only to have “unidentified teams” claim them?  OK, let me understand this – they place Hamels on waivers, yet he has a limited no-trade clause which means he will only accept trades to the Angels, Braves, Dodgers, Cardinals, Nationals, Padres, Rangers, Red Sawx, and Cranks.  So out of that group, whose gonna trade for ole Cole and give up what the Phillies might want?  Anaheim or LA…MAYYYYYYYBE…

Not only that, Jonathan Papelbon cleared waivers and he has the audacity to say that he will happily waive it to close for a contending team?  At first, I was gonna make fun of that, but he actually has good stats:  2-2, 1.71 ERA with 26 saves and 45 SO in 47.1 IP.  After reading those stats, I was surprised he couldn’t be dealt, but then I read further:  He has $13 mil owed to him next season, and $13 mil in 2016 (at the team option). 

Philly ought not to get too greedy, but they could get some good out of Hamels and Papelbon.

Baseball Stadiums.  I have had the good fortune to attend three spring training venues and now four different ballparks across the country in the last two years – ATT Park in SF, Marlins Park in Miami, Target Field, and Kauffman.  If I had to rank them, it would be Kauffman (4), Marlins (3), ATT #2, and Target #1.

Ongoing Ray Rice Saga.  Try as I might to ignore this, it keeps coming up – and if Keith Olbermann is right on this, it’s getting pretty damn scary…

Oh, and Keith, not to get political here, but you are one hypocritical son-of-a-bitch!  You whack the Sheriff for a lack of transparency, but you are noticeably absent when it comes down to your heroes running the country.  That’s right you liberal mouthpiece – everything you say applies to everything happening in Washington, DC but yet you won’t go after them.    

NFL Training Camps.  Not too many “traditions” in camp that I can recall, but it seems to me that it’s pretty damn cool to watch these kids in Green Bay with their bikes and Packer players. 

Having been to two camps, I find it interesting the differing approaches.  Vikings did two a days a morning walk-through no pads, and the second with pads and hitting.  In KC, it was one practice with pads and hard hitting.

NFL Off-season.  It seems pretty clear to me that in the off-season that more than a few NFL athletes let themselves go.  If they can’t pass a basic conditioning test in July, then of course injuries are gonna be the next logical conclusion.

I’m certainly not a doctor, but there has to be some correlation between the relaxing of the off-season rules in the last CBA and the number of serious injuries that occur in July and August.  I’m not saying be a slave driver, but what I am saying is can’t there be a more happy medium in keeping players in better shape heading in to camp?

NFL Pre-Season.  With all the above being said, I personally think four games is too many and would like nothing better than to see it reduced to three or even better two games.  Injuries are already too extensive and these exhibitions rip off the fans.

Buffalo (Toronto?) Bills.   I’ve never been to Buffalo, and I only know one person whose ever lived there, but what I do know is that the Bills have been in Buffalo since what 1960?  They have one hell of a fan following, and now some rich fat cat carpetbagger wants to steal the team and put it in Toronto?  If I’m a fan of the Bills, hell yes I’m worried, and no Jon Bon Jovi, I don’t freaking believe you when you say the team is staying if your group gets them – why do you think Andre Reed busted verbal and virtual caps in your comments recently?  Don’t you freaking know you’re being used?

Hey Canada and specifically Toronto, are you willing or even inclined to embrace an NFL team at the expense of the CFL and the Toronto Argonauts?  Do you really want an NFL team owned and run by the same folks who give you Maple Leafs hockey every season?  Just sayin’…

Finally, let’s be completely honest here Canada…are you willing to support the NFL when Hockey is starting up?  Seriously?

Politics.  I actually heard something from a talking head that made sense yesterday, and that is having the states start taking constitutional action against DC in the form of holding a new constitutional convention.  You see DC, you’re about to get eaten up by politicians at the state level.  They see what is going on and are starting to talk about going after you in terms of changing the rules of the game. 

Look, it doesn’t matter what side of the spectrum you’re on politically or even if you have no opinion, nothing is getting done, and you are getting hurt in ways that you can’t imagine – inflation and increased prices are only the beginning. 

Food - BBQ debate.  Jerry and I got to thinking about this, and I’ve decided that adding to my bucket list will be a BBQ trip across all the different regions and deciding which is best.  KC, St. Louis, Memphis, Carolina, Texas, “Deep South”.  If you have recommendations of places to go, I will store them on my list.  

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Tuesday's Tantrum, 8/5/14
Posted by B.O.B. on Tuesday, August 05, 2014 at 12:00:00 AM

Welcome to Tuesday, where the local temp is between 102-105, Baseball is in full effect, Football has begun, the pool is in max use, and that BBQ smell is in the air everywhere – where last night Uncle B.O.B. made it easy and went with Hot Links and Kona (Hawaiian) Chicken on the grill.  How the hell can you not be in a good mood?  It was great to go back East and get a bit of a different perspective on things, and to be honest it is hopefully helping me to grow a little bit more as a person.

Minny Follow-up.  Many have asked what is in a “juicy lucy”, and so I’ll tell you:  1/3 lb angus beef, spices, and melted cheddar in the middle of the pattie, and covered with a gooey layer of Monterey Jack on top on a toasted Kaiser Roll.  That was some good eating.

Kansas City.  When you arrive and walk out of your car towards the hotel front door and your senses get blasted with that BBQ smell, you know you are about to grub & the BBQ in KC is OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!  I haven’t been to Texas yet, but KC is gonna be tough to beat.  I had brisket and a sausage platter with six different sauce flavors, dirty BBQ rice, BBQ Beans, and cole slaw, while Jerry grubbed on pulled chicken sandwich.  We were offered donut holes for after dinner.  Who does that?

      

Royals (Kauffman) Stadium.  Ever since I was a little B.O.B., I always wanted to go to there.  You can tell that it’s an older stadium, but it’s definitely a credit to MLB – a beautiful park it added an upper deck around the infield, and brought in the new bells and whistles, the fountains are still there in the outfield, The Center Field jumbo tron is state of the art.  The minuses?  The concourses weren’t wide, there wasn’t really a store to buy merchandise.  As for the food, there was nothing enticing, the service was horrible, and absolutely nobody around me was eating stadium grub – a first that I have ever seen.  I would have thought BBQ might have been the focus at the park, but it’s almost as if stadium grub isn’t really a focus in KC.

      

Royals vs. Twins, 7/29/14.  We sat just four rows up behind first base.  Warm with a slight breeze and it was “Hunting and Fishing Nite” at the stadium, so a good crowd was on hand. The Twins won the game 2-1 which was for lack of a better term boring.  No real action until the bottom of the 9th.  What I did see though was Minnesota be far more aggressive on the basepaths, though they continue to struggle with RISP, leaving seven on base, including four at 3B, three of which were in the first three innings.  Good Lord, these boys need to learn the art of the timely hit.

Hey Minnesota Twins, you are on a two game winning streak with us following you around and YOU’RE WELCOME!!!  For the second consecutive game Glenn Perkins was extremely shaky as the Twins closer – it’s OK Glenn, you don’t have to impress us, we’re going home.  But you want to talk about shaky???  James Shields was the luckiest pitcher on the planet.  He threw 125 pitches in six innings and Minny only scored twice.  You could tell the fans were getting bent about why he wasn’t getting pulled earlier.

Ron Gardenhire did his best Uncle B.O.B. imitation after Alex Gordon made an incredible catch in the outfield to take away a multiple base hit from a Twin, he argued, lost, and got tossed after using a certain type of word that’s a no-no with umpires (God, I love the lines in Bull Durham).

Hey though, I had no idea that Paul Molitor was the First Base Coach of the Twins.  If he can’t get this team to hit (they left seven folks on base tonight!), then nobody can.

Kansas City Royals.  As you and I gab today, the Royals are sitting four games above .500 and are 1.5 GB of the second wild card spot.  They are running 7-3 in the last ten, and have a better winning percentage on the road then they do at home (27-27 at home btw), witness their just completed 2-1 roadie at the Mausoleum against the very strong Oakland A’s.  Yes, they have talent, and if Mike Moustakas (.191 BA)  can pick it up finally, this team can be dangerous.  They are nowhere near a HR hitting team, but they’re capable of speed on the basepaths. 

As for pitching, it’s OK, but let me throw a crazy stat at you:  If I were to tell you that a starting pitcher after 16 starts this season had a 2.42 ERA, with over 104 IP, and the BA against him was .203, you’d consider him to have a good won/loss ratio, right?  WRONG!  Danny Duffy is 5-10. 

Kansas City fans.  These folks have a rep as very, VERY supportive and loud, but quite honestly, I got the impression I was sitting at a Laker game in LA.  Fans were detached from the game and I just didn’t sense the energy they are famous for in KC, though I did hear a very funny story about a 94 year old Royal fan who has season tix near where we sat.  Apparently, he gets a little too boisterous and had to be told by the ushers to chill out/tone it down.  I guess he got bent and never comes anymore though the tickets are in his name.  EFF THAT KC, you got a fan getting into it like this and he’s damn near a century old, you cherish that – you honor the hell out of that, and hell, you buy him a freaking beer!  YOU DON’T TELL HIM TO TONE IT DOWN!  What the hell are you thinking???

     

Kansas City Chiefs.  Wednesday morning as we started our trek home, 50 miles into the drive, we stumbled into St. Joseph, Missouri which was hosting the Chiefs camp so we decided “Why not”.  The Chiefs had practice at 8:15 AM in full pads and there was some serious hitting going on.  It was well organized from every perspective both on the field and for the fans.  While I may have criticized Royal fans, Chief fans are incredible.  8:15 AM on a Wednesday morning and the place was mobbed.

      

   

Rest of the trip.  There is just so much of America to see.  From the rolling hills of Missouri, through the corn fields of Iowa along with the grasslands of Nebraska, the truly spectacular views of the prairie, mountains, high desert, and rec areas of Wyoming, to the interesting rock formations of Utah and the Great Salt Lake, and finally the desert of Nevada.  We really do live in a special place, don’t we?

NFL Hall of Fame Weekend.  Every first Saturday in August we get to look back at up to seven of the leagues greats receive the highest honor Football has, and I try to stop what I’m doing to watch it.  We may be frustrated with the NFL right now, but another thing right about sports is celebrating the past by honoring the individual achievements of Derrick Brooks, Ray Guy, Claude Humphrey, Walter Jones, Andre Reed, Michael Strahan, and Aeneas Williams.  They in my mind are deserving of entry.

Note who they played for:  Buccaneers, Raiders, Falcons, Seahawks, Bills, Giants, and Cardinals/Rams.  That’s the beauty of NFL HOF, it doesn’t matter WHERE you played, it mattered what you did when you played on the field. 

The moment that stuck out with me was when Andre Reed busted out the “And yes Buffalo, the Bills are staying.”  Talk about putting heat on that supposed Toronto backed money trying to lift the Bills out of town...Hall of Famer Andre Reed just made their ambitions a lot harder.

Hall of Fame Game.  Yes, I know it means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, but isn’t it great to sit down on a Sunday Night and catch a game in August?  Oh, and by the way, on paper, I really love what the Buffalo Bills are doing.  They are building something up there and in my mind right now, it’s pretty positive.  Keep an eye on these guys the next couple of years…

Douchebag of the Week.  Stephen A. Smith and Bob Beckel both said some remarkably stupid shit on TV this past week, and both have either got suspended, were forced to apologize, or both.  Smith should never have went with the “women’s role” in domestic violence, that was just stupid.  In Beckel’s case, he was forced to apologize, may be suspended, and the talk is that they are ready to fire him for calling a reality show star a “slut” after it was reported that some runner-up guy claimed he laid the pipe to a bachelorette before she chose some other dude on one of those ignorant shows.

They both deserve DBOW, but I think the issues related to both these cats bear watching to see how much further this gets.  I for one am VERY curious to see how these two get treated by their respective networks.

 

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Tuesday's Trek - 7/29/14
Posted by B.O.B. on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 12:00:00 AM

Greetings from Minnesota/South Dakota!!!   As you read this, Jerry and I are now into Day 4 of “World Tour Stop #4”.  Today we’re driving down I-29 from Sioux Falls to Kansas City to catch the Royals host the Twins tonight.  This is the 21st Century version of home movies, but here we go:

We bitch a whole lot about what’s wrong with sports, but let me tell you what doesn’t suck:  A warm summer day sitting in the stands and enjoying a ball game with good food.  The sunshine of the day and yes the clouds and rain to cool it off, the singing of the national anthem by a kid while the American flag is being raised by an Active Duty Marine and family (Seattle style).  The seventh inning stretch while the singing of “God Bless America” followed by “Take me out to the ball game”.  Listening and feeling the excitement after the Twins won only their 3rd game of a ten-game homestand.  Talking to the guy sitting next to you with whom you have nothing in common but Baseball and enjoying his perspective on his team and talking about other teams and other stadiums.  Watching the priceless looks on kids faces at the game and how much fun they seem to have – it kind of puts sports in a bit better perspective.

    

Minneapolis.  A very fun time and an interesting city, but expensive.  Traffic patterns are tough, it’s easy to get lost, and the freeways are usually pretty packed, but the people are really cool.  We hit a three story English Pub with actual lawn bowling on the top floor.  Unfortunately, the lawn bowling was replaced on Sunday with a modern version of Shakespeare.  We then looked for some dinner, and while the juicy lucy eluded me, I finally got one for dinner and it didn’t disappoint!  Then after hitting a very bad comedy club, my old butt called it a night to finish watching the Dodgers/Giants.

Minnesota Sports Scene.  It’s tough here.  Vikes, Twins, and Wolves are struggling, There isn't much to write home about on the college front, except for D-2 Minnesota Mankato.  Though this hockey mad region has a lot to be happy with regarding the Wild and College Hockey of course.  But as this is my third visit and I admittedly don’t know as much as I should, I fail to understand how it is so hard to attract free agents here in any sport.  I get it in Basketball, the ownership and management are clueless.  But I can think of a lot worse places to spend a Summer than Minny.

Fans totally and completely support their teams here though they may have given up on the T-Wolves, and for that I can't blame em.  It’s an outstanding and very knowledgeable fan base who come out in droves to the games.  Every time I have been here, jerseys are worn everywhere by everybody. 

Stadiums are in a bit of flux.  Target Field is brand new.  Target Center (Wolves) is getting a 50 mil facelift, and finally the Metrodome is officially gone.  I’m told the building of the new stadium at the same site had 50 trucks bring in the second largest crane in the world to start the process of building this new and incredibly visionary stadium that will host Super Bowl 52.  If you haven’t already, go to YouTube and check out this incredible plan. 

Co-Douche Bags of the Week.  Let's keep the Minnesota theme going:

Chris Kluwe would make a good Gabber, and he’s one helluva follow on Twitter, but he needs to STFU.  When you’re willing to speak, you’d better be ready for the repercussions, and When you sue and threaten, you’d better make sure your dirt is on the down low, especially if you are threatening to expose other players activities.  But then again Vikings, if I recall your recent history, you aren’t exactly lily white either.  It would be in both sides best interest (despite the entertainment value) to do this stuff in closed court, because both sides will get hurt and the potential for this to blow up into a social issue is great. 

Kevin Love either is immature or is getting some seriously bad advice.  Not wanting to play for Team USA because he’s too wrapped up with “trade drama” while trying to force his way out of town?  I get that the Wolves organization is a shit-storm, but this is bush.  I hope Jerry Colangelo never takes this guy back on Team USA.  If I was here this coming Winter I’d go to a game to boo the ever loving shit out of this ass-clown.  I don’t have my certificate with me, but if I did, I’d personally walk it to him and deliver it.  Be a man and accept this token of our disapproval!

       

Target Field…has a bit of a minor league feel to it – it’s hard to describe, kind of a like a down to earth homey type feel.  Friendly people everywhere just enjoying the hell out of a ball game – a completely different vibe from games in Cali, you have no problem bringing your kids here for a fun day at the park.  Wide concourses and the smells of Food was everywhere.  I personally was overwhelmed and drawn to the smell of the sausages though I drew the line at Sauerkraut.  The food was tremendous and certainly had the Midwest flair.  You absolutely have to try the sausages, and for those beer aficionados, this place doesn’t disappoint.  My dad wasn’t a sports guy, but he would have loved this place.

As with all other towns there are those places near the stadium fans just crowd into prior to going into the game and here is no exception.  If you ever are here, I highly recommend a place called Cowboy Jacks just two blocks from the gate, a three story restaurant/bar with the third floor being the rooftop which had a tiki bar type set up of its own and a live band playing.  Best wings I’ve ever eaten, a Bloody Mary Bar, and a mechanical bull.

Sunday the Twins celebrated the 20th anniversary of the movie “Little Big League” with Luke Edwards, Sacramento’s Tim Busfield and Jason Robards.  For those who don’t know it was about a 12 year old baseball junkie whose grandpa owned the Twins, died and gave the kid the team and he promptly fired the manager and named himself the replacement.  It was a silly, yet at time funny flick.  Anyway, the kid (Edwards) is all grown up now and he was on hand to throw the first pitch, then host a showing of the movie on the big screen post-game for anybody who wanted to stay in the lower bowl and watch.

Minny isn’t for everybody, but if you get a chance, come here and don’t miss a game at Target Field.

Oh, and Beeze, there were North Dakota Fighting Sioux hockey sweaters being worn at the game.  Just thought you’d enjoy that.

Minnesota Twins.    The game was fun and it went 2:45 (an AL game?) with the Twins beating the White Sox 4-3 to close out a ten game homestand 3-7.  The weather went from hot and sweltering to cool, breezy, and rainy and changed every five minutes back and forth.  A Chicago pitcher threw a pitch and the ump IMMEDIATELY went to the mound and examined the pitcher, who was sent to the dugout to remove “excessive rosin on his left sleeve” and to remove a bracelet he had tucked under that sleeve.  On the very next pitch, the pitcher immediately started throwing wildly and the Twins went right to work, scoring three runs.  Coinky-dink?  Another interesting thing was Oswaldo Arcia getting pissed after a strikeout and breaking his bat over his knee.

Fans are pissed about the record, but I look at the names on the team and I think that while the Twins certainly aren’t world beaters, I think they have a bit more talent than they are getting credit for, and while it’s kind of taboo to say this – I think Twins fans should be patient.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I like Fuld (LF), Trevor Plouffe (3B), Danny Santana (CF), Brian Dozier (2B), Eduardo Escobar (SS) and Josh Willingham (DH) while the numbers say that Arcia may be a good one in the future.  Oh, and did I mention Glenn Perkins the closer?  The Twins clearly evident need is pitching.  Yohan Pino looked pretty good yesterday, though I’m told he’s maddingly inconsistent though he did have a no-hitter into the 5th.  Pitchers jersey numbers were all in the 60’s, so that tells you what’s up there. 

Overall the Twins are in a rebuilding process and it will take time.  They are a few years behind Cleveland and KC those terms, but I can see something building there and I like Ron Gardenhire as the skip.  I think he’s the perfect guy to bring this team along. For what it's worth, I'll be cheering from afar.

    

Minnesota Vikings.  Got the opportunity to attend Vikings camp yesterday for their morning walk-thru and something I noticed:  besides QB, this offense has weapons now.  AP, Rudolph, a MASSIVE O-line, and Patterson, Simpson, and Jennings at the wide-outs.   If anybody can step up at QB, Norv Turner may have a very tough offense, and he was on them today like stink on dookie.  Not sold on the “D”, but we’ll have to see.

Farewell Minnesota and South Dakota.  My guess is that we won’t be back anytime soon if at all, but you were a tremendous host and you’ve got a lot going on from many different and positive aspects.  I know that I’m too much of a sissy to sit through one of your winters, but you’ve got some great people here and your Summers are pretty awesome.  I don’t know what it is about this place, but I always come away impressed.  Minnesota is kind of like the America that we all envision. 

To the University of Sioux Falls, I want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart from giving my kid a chance and putting up with him (wink, wink).  I know he has learned a lot there and I hope that he in some way has contributed to you somehow.  I’m sure leaving was bittersweet for my son.  He made lots of friends, but he sure isn’t gonna miss the winters back here, that’s for sure and he is now on to his next adventure which is…

Junior College Football.  It can now be announced that my son has been hired to become Defensive Line Coach at a Junior College here in California for the upcoming season.  So once I get him home, he almost immediately has to leave to start that job where he’ll get room and board and a paycheck.  Happy for him and I hope he enjoys it.  There is a future goal in mind here which I don’t want to jinx and I hope it works out for him.  Good Luck son!

I hope you enjoyed the discussion of Minnesota sports, perhaps a place that is a tad bit overlooked.

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Freak Show Friday - 7/25/14
Posted by B.O.B. on Friday, July 25, 2014 at 3:06:16 PM

Ray Rice.  Two games and another game paycheck.  Why be outraged?  Did anybody expect anything more than that?  If you did, you aren't seeing the big picture here.  Keith Olbermann said it best:  You can go out and beat the shit out of your girl, then go on line and by the female version of Ray Rice jersey on NFL.com for $59.  Wow, just wow.    

Bart Scott on CBS Sports Network says he got off light because the NFL doesn't have a policy on Domestic Violence and that they'll have to start one.  THAT IS THE MOST COWARDLY OF ALL TAKES OUTSIDE OF DEFENDING RICE.  Uh, hey Bart, they just did you moron!  The bar has been set at 2 games and another game check for clocking a woman.  So what happens when some moron gets bent and stabs his signifcant other?  3 games and anoter game check?   Oh, and by the way Bart, I don't hear any denouncing of what Rice did.  

Hey Baltimore fan, if you cheer this guy, you freaking suck!  And if you buy his jersey or the female version of Baltimore 27, you're worse.  But the sick thing here is you will.  Just like SF fans cheered Barry Bonds and will cheer that freaking drunk ass wannabe gangsta Aldon Smith.  Just once, when a-holes like this make a play, I'd like to hear the crowd go silent.  Don't say a word.  Don't cheer, don't boo, just go silent.  Ya think maybe that'll send a message?  

Noticeably silent on this whole thing?  YEP, the mother fucking Union.  No denounciation of the DV, no nothing.  You think that the union placed pressure on Goddell to go as light as possible?  Was he gonna go with four games, then some handshake agreement came out of it to take two plus a game check and Rice doesn't appeal?  Of course it went down like that, Owner Jim Irsay is still on the docket and he has to be dealt with.  Could you imagine if he dropped the hammer on Rice then did little to Irsay?  Could you imagine the Union then?

By the way Baltimore, five arrests, oh, and that little incident 15 years ago with Ray Lewis?  Just what the hell does it take to get B-more organization to maybe crack down on these freaks?  

Don't laugh San Francsico, you have just as much of a problem, and so does San Diego every Sunday Night after a game.  Yeah San Diego, you aren't slipping under my radar.  

Seems to me that the NFL, it's union and alumni, just are scared to deal with something like domestic violence.  So here's the deal NFL, I've already consciously watched less of your watered down product over the past few years.  I'm not going to be a hypocrite and say boycott the NFL.  No, I won't do that.  But what I can do is this:  I can call you all a bunch of MF-ing cowards, too scared to do the right thing.  

I know that I myself can do little to change the mentality - it will never change in the NFL.  So I'll cheer like hell against Baltimore probably more so than I will against Seattle, just like I'll cheer against Aldon Smith and to a lesser degree that silver spoon BOY (as opposed to being a man) Johnny Manziel.   

PC Police.  Just so I understand, a radio personality can call Erin Andrews a bitch on a radio show and he loses his syndication on NESN.  Tony Dungy is crucified for saying he wouldn't draft Michael Sams because he hates media distractions, and has to "clarify" his comments.  Anybody who agrees with Dungy in terms of "media distraction" (including myself) are homophobes according to talking heads.  Meanwhile, love him or hate him (and he's definitely polarizing), Rush Limbaugh had a point:  They ran his ass for that assinine McNabb comment IMMEDIATELY and permanently, 

Just one year ago Riley Cooper ran his ignorant mouth and he got a two day vacation for basically communicating a threat against a specific race of people.  And didn't Jesse Jackson use a not so flattering term at least once to refer to our President, not to mention referring to a specific religion with a pretty nasty epitaph?  

Can somebody please tell me what the rules are, and can somebody enforce them equally?

Where is the special interests?  You know, the womens groups, those who support "law and order", victims groups?  Where is the outrage, and I mean that sincerely?  We as individuals can go out and be outraged, yet I hear nothing from our leaders and those who think they can speak on our behalf.  What a bunch of freaking cowards.

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Tuesday's Inspiration and semi-frustration, 7/22/14
Posted by B.O.B. on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 12:00:00 AM

I want to thank Beeze for allowing me to add another blog on Monday.  I have so much stirring in my mind that I want to get off my chest before I leave town.   Like Jerry Reed sings in “Smokey and the Bandit”, we’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there, so let’s get this party started:

Before I start though, I do ask for one thing, your prayers.  My nephew and his girlfriend were expecting their third child and she was 23 weeks pregnant.  Suddenly Sunday Faith arrived in the world.  Faith weighed one pound seven ounces and she is still fighting for life and was rushed to the specialty unit here in Sacramento.  Faith, you keep fighting girl, you hear me?  Your obnoxious Uncle B.O.B. wants to meet you come Christmas time, and if we’re truly lucky at Thanksgiving!   That will be my Christmas present.  I don’t need nothing else. 

Props?  To ESPiN???  ESPN announced that they have entered into partnership to cover the 2015 Special Olympics in LA, and I think that’s absolutely FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC.  I hope to be able to catch it.

Props?  To ESPiN #2???  21 years ago I was moved by Jimmy V’s speech.  I mean, who wasn’t???  Classic lines, lots of laughs, and good advice.  In case you forgot:

And Wednesday, I became moved yet again.  This time it was Stuart Scott who moved me.  I knew he was fighting, but I didn’t know it was that bad.  Stuart, PLEASE KEEP FIGHTING, MOST OF ALL WIN!  Here is the video link if you're interested in Scott's speech:  http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11225895  .  I watch Jimmy V, Robin Roberts, Stuart Scott, & my father all those years ago and my Mother in Law.  I marvel at their strength, courage, grace, positivity, resilience, & determination. You want to talk about role models? 

Baseball.  Mike and Mike, ESPiN, and Bud Selig bristled at the mere mention of a comment made by some union mouthpiece about Baseball being a “regional” sport.  Take a look at this and you tell me: 

Can we cut the “we’re not regional” crap?  It's about money that just happens to be in the NYC, LA, St. Louis, and Boston areas.  Yet In 2014 out of potentially 30 teams in the league, 16 can’t get a sniff of playing on Sunday Night, including arguably one of the best and most exciting teams right now, the Oakland A’s?  A two time defending Division Champ with SIX all-stars and the two-time defending HR Derby champ, and this team can’t play once on Sunday Night, yet you can show the Yankees and Dead (err, Red) Sox FIVE times?  What about SunTzu’s Washington Nationals?  B-dub’s Braves only once?  Kyle’s Blue Jays?  AFD’s new home Pittsburgh?  Who gets to watch King Felix pitch outside of MLB Network (which a lot of folks don’t get)?

OK, OK, enough ranting...on to real Baseball, sorta.  Did you catch 105 year old Great-Granny's act in San Diego down at PETCO Sunday throwing out the first ball?  How freaking cool was that?  MLBMemes did, and thanks to them for this:

Yet another thing to be truly inspired by!!!

But then we get to this:

Seattle She-hawks.  She-hawk LB Bobby Wagner said the Denver Donkeys “…looked scared out there.  Nobody wanted to catch the ball.  Nobody wanted to come up the middle.”  WELL NO SHIT!!!  Everybody knew Denver was a finesse team.  Could the table have been more perfectly set for ya? 

When Seattle didn’t get away with excessive holding and contact beyond five yards they were a very average defense and Dick Sherman nowhere near lives up to his hype when refs call it straight.  Speaking of Dick, I don’t normally advocate this, but can somebody step up and sacrifice 15 yards on the very first play he grabs them by going all Deacon Jones upside his helmet?  Anybody ever notice that when somebody gets in Dick’s face he backs down like a little bitch?  Hey Dick, you’re yapping is getting tired.  And Dick, shut up, Russell Wilson and Skittles man bailed out your team far more than you did – douche. 

Good Lord and I thought Deion Sanders was bad…Seattle wins because they get in folks domes by talking junk.  Teams are beaten before they ever get onto the field - and that’s more of an indictment on coaching league wide then a testament to Seattle’s “greatness.”      

Golf (British Open).  Rory McIlroy went wire to wire and took the Claret Jug.  Can we now have a discussion about Tiger and Phil passing the torch?  Wake up PGA, you’ve got great golf out there.

         

Golf – Celebrity Pro Am at Lake Tahoe.  Middle B.O.B. has got guts and a toughness to her.  She had her four wisdom teeth yanked Friday, but that didn’t stop her and her boyfriend from making the trek up to Tahoe just hours later to see the celebrity pro-am.  She got to see Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Larry the Cable Guy and Ray Romano. 

Remember I referred to being inspired?  Chad Pfiefer is a wounded warrior who lost his leg above the knee in Iraq, and look what this dude is doing:  he was in the final grouping of the final round w/Mark Rypien and Jeremy Roenick.  I absolutely love stuff like this.  It 100% motivates me.  If I can’t get pumped up to ramp up the workouts, I have no soul.

The Gym.  Speaking of being inspired, I walk into my gym and marvel at the old folks at my gym who come in religiously and bust their asses on the treadmills then move on to the weights.  Hell, I’ve watched some 80-plus year old going flat out balls to the wall.  Same with 76 year old Mama B.O.B. down in South Florida.  There ain’t no way I can half-ass it out there, I’d be too embarrassed.

Tour De France.   For whatever reason, I find this bike race compelling.  These guys covering this much ground in all different types of weather, terrain, inclines, declines, speeds, and types of surface of road is incredible.  Mix in the unprecedented amount of wipe outs and how many favorites got knocked out early because of it, and it’s actually pretty compelling.

 

Jerry’s Midwest Tour.  Apparently Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas, Padre Island, OKC, and KC in 2014 weren’t enough, this dude spent his final free weekend in the Midwest with his buddies taking a roadie across state to Mount Rushmore to go camping and gambling.  For those who haven’t been there, it’s so much more than just the mountain, the Crazy Horse monument is making progress, Casinos have been put in at Deadwood, camping is everywhere, Sturgis is very close, and it’s a pretty cool place to hang, oh and in Summer, the weather is fantastic. 

Uncle B.O.B.’s World Tour Stop #4.  It begins Saturday at 7AM.  And while sports will figure prominently, so does BBQ, so there has been a step up in the workouts prior to leaving.  I hope that I can keep my phone properly charged throughout and get lots of pics – that is certainly the intent.

Douchebag of the Week.  Controversy has erupted up in Lake Tahoe when the Celebrity/Athlete Pro Am invited LPGA Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam to participate in the tourney this year.  WTF is this?  Sterling Sharpe was whining about this and there are rumors others are too.  Shut up you sissies, the Tahoe tournament is nothing more than a fun weekend for charity, don't be taking this seriously.  Now step up and accept this award that you so richly deserve...

 

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