Jefft02

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Jeff's Blog
Deep Thoughts 4-16-14
Posted by Jefft02 on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 6:48:10 AM

 

 

Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. This week marks two very significant events. Tuesday was Jackie Robinson day and the anniversary of the bombing at last year’s Boston Marathon. MLB does a great job each year of recognizing Robinson by having each MLB player wear #42. While this is a great tribute, I have a question. On Jackie Robinson day, shouldn’t the Dodgers be playing at home? It really does seem like a slap in the face to me to not only have the Dodgers on the road…but playing at San Francisco. I am really scratching my head over this. I am also trying to understand why someone would leave two dummy backpacks at the Boston Marathon finish line. It is acts like this that make me wonder about the direction of our country. Sick…

BOB mentioned yesterday in his blog about Aldon Smith’s latest screw up. Telling TSA agents that you have a bomb is not very bright. This does not strike me as the act of a mentally stable person, but maybe he is just an idiot. Either way, I think BOB is right, Sheriff Goodell will ask Smith to take the year off. This is really a bad deal for the 49ers as their defense is not the same without him. But, I figure that this is out of the team’s hands at this point. It will be interesting to see if they cut him loose or save a spot for him.

I caught the movie Draft Day last weekend. If you like football, you will definitely like this movie. It was like a big spoonful of football. I would not say it is Costner’s best work, but it is definitely worth watching. It was interesting watching the behind the scene conversations. Given the timing of the approaching draft, it makes the current headlines rather intriguing. I saw on Tuesday that an “anonymous” NFL executive thinks that Clowney is “spoiled” and “lazy”. Teams are looking for any reason to cause a player to drop. Is this truly what this executive believes or is he trying to allow Clowney to fall into their lap? Johnny Manziel is slammed because he scores too high on the Wonderlic test. It is whispered that he may be too smart to be coachable. Vince Young was slammed because he scored too low on the test…maybe he is not smart enough to learn the playbook. It really is a game of chess. The media sucks up the words like a Hoover on steroids. I am not even sure that they realize that they are being played by the teams…either way, they are pawns. There was a time that we could believe what we read in the paper, but those times are long gone.

 

 

 

 

 

I have been reading an old book about baseball stories. I found the book at an antique store and figured for a few bucks it would be interesting to read. The stories are an assortment of short stories, poems…each one is different. There was the original story that I suppose the Field of Dreams was based upon. One very short story was about a guy that walked into a bar. A baseball game was on the small TV in the corner. An older guy sitting next to him started talking about baseball and complaining about the way games today (probably 40 years ago) are described. Lanz commented on BOB’s blog yesterday how Vin Scully used words to paint a picture of the game. That is exactly what this old guy was complaining about in this story. He missed listening to a baseball game on the radio; because those play by play guys painted that picture for their listeners…they had to. TV guys have gotten lazy. Most do not understand what it is to do a play by play. They use words like velocity instead of bringing the heat or throwing gas and location instead of nibbling around the corners. As I read this story, I realized that the old man was exactly right. I have spent those summer nights lying in my bed with my eyes closed…seeing the game through the words. I watch the game now, and don’t really listen as much to the words of the broadcast. Often, I think that I see as much or more than the guys doing the broadcast. Baseball is great today and I love being able to watch so many game on TV. But, there will always be something special about listening to a baseball game on the radio.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

I think we have all noticed how many pitchers are MIA this year. The dreaded phrase “Tommy John” surgery has been spoken 20 times this year. I started looking around trying to find some answers. One theory is that the MLB strike zone is so tight that pitchers have given up throwing slower breaking balls and now throw a cut fastball, slider and split finger fastball. Hitters spend hours watching video now. They are much more patient at the plate because they know that the tight strike zones favor hitters. There is some potential truth to this. Fastballs are thrown with the shoulder. Curveballs are thrown with the shoulder and wrist. The harder breaking balls all stress the elbow. I can see this, but I don’t think it tells the entire story. So I went to the expert on the matter…Dr. James Andrews. Dr. Andrews believes that there are several factors that are causing the UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) to fray and eventually fail. Kids are bigger and stronger and the UCL is just not able to keep pace with how hard the young pitchers are throwing. Also, baseball has become a year round sport in many parts of the country. He believes that young pitchers are not getting a break like they used to. Instead of putting away the baseball glove and picking up a football or basketball, they simply play on. A comment on the article about Dr. Andrews was spot on. He remembers listening to 2 visiting hockey coaches from Finland. They said if you want to be one of the best 12 year old players around then play year round. But if you want to still be a good player when you are 16 or 17 then drop the game when your season is over and play other sports that interest you because eventually water seeks its level and others will catch up or your zeal for the game will be greatly diminished

My son began playing tournament baseball when he was 11. But, we limited the amount of games that the kids played. But there are others that do not. I am a firm believer that playing all sports is of great benefit for young athletes. Focusing on one sport at a young age often burns kids out. It also can lead to overuse of a pitchers arm…which is what we are beginning to see at the professional level. There is really nothing that the MLB can do to change this, except perhaps offer direction. Baseball should spend time preparing messages to younger players and their parents. Most kids will never play professional baseball, but the facts should be known. Throwing a baseball is not a natural action. Throwing a baseball hard puts stress on the shoulder and elbow.

Based on this information, it does not appear that anything will change soon. For the record, of those 20 pitchers undergoing Tommy John surgery only one is from outside the US. It is clear that this problem is something that is homegrown. Hopefully, it will be something that we can soon begin to change.

 


 

 

 


Last weekend was the Masters. The big news leading up to this great tournament was that Tiger Woods would not be healthy enough to participate in this year’s Masters. I have been a big fan of Tiger Wood's golfing. I have watched him perform at a level that few have ever approached. I cheered Tiger on in his pursuit of the major championship record. But, in the back of my mind, I had a nagging feeling like I had forgotten something. This week, I was reminded what I had forgotten. For all of those wins, Tiger Woods will never have something…he will never be the King of golf. There has only ever been one man in golf that completely grabbed the fancy of the country and that was Arnold Palmer. Although, Jack Nicklaus will wear the crown of best player, it is Arnold Palmer that captivated our nation and brought attention to the game of golf. Men wanted to be Palmer and women just wanted him. Class, charisma and charm were characteristics of Arnold Palmer. When Palmer began to make a move up the leader board, he would hitch his pants and eagerly charge toward the next shot. The adoring crowds were called “Arnie’s Army” and they would announce a great shot with a surge of cheers. Seriously, there was no doubt when Palmer sank a long putt or hit a great shot. ..You just knew. He did not so much play golf, as attack the course. As a small kid, I remember thinking that there was something different about this man.  

 

 

 

 

Through all of his professional successes, Palmer remained a hero to every man. You cannot find anyone that will say something bad about Palmer. He has been a gentleman from the beginning. He always had time for a smile and a handshake. Athletes of today would do well to examine the manner that this giant of another generation has handled his business.

 

Here are a few facts about Arnold Palmer:

Hale Irwin said that he learned from Arnold that the most important part of being a professional golfer was what you did outside the ropes.

Palmer said that his father told him…You don’t need to tell anyone how good you are, you show them how good you are.

You can have a discussion over who is the best golfer of all time, but there is no question that Arnold Palmer has been the most important golfer of all time.

Johnny Bench named his son Justin Palmer Bench. Now, that is impressive.

Palmer represents the values of what America used to be. He is an American icon.

Arnold Palmer loved to add lemonade to his glass of iced tea…now that drink is called an Arnold Palmer.

There is so much more about Palmer to discuss. He beat prostate cancer in 1999, but has never quit his fight to beat the disease. He has donated money and been very outspoken to help raise awareness for fighting cancer. He built a Children’s hospital in Florida that remains one of the most impressive hospitals in the country for children.

 

Arnold Palmer brought attention and money to the PGA tour. He helped create the Senior Tour and the Golf Channel. He defined how to create a brand, by living his life doing good things. He began flying his own plane in the 1950s. In watching the golf channel story, it detailed how Palmer decided that at 80 years of age that he should leave the flying to someone else. On his last flight from the west coast to Orlando…he got the red carpet treatment from each airport that he was in communication with. Apparently, all of the airports across the country cleared the way for his flight. I am not a pilot, but supposedly, this is just not done. He did not have to wait for anything…which speaks to the respect that the air traffic guys had for Palmer as a pilot. From his humble beginnings, Palmer has created a huge place in American history…and he has done it the right way.

 

Tiger Woods has been a student of golf and has focused his attention to try to eclipse these records. It is a shame that Tiger does not understand that golf is only a small part of the legacy he will leave behind. It is sad, but I sort of see Tiger Woods as I do Barry Bonds. Both were great players that never realized the true meaning of being a champion. Arnold Palmer is 85 and won’t be with us much longer. It is time we took a moment to acknowledge just how special his life has been.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

                                                             I think that everyone is ready for the snow to stop...

 


 

 

 

This is a picture of the Utah Valley University baseball field. The UTPA Broncs headed to Orem Utah to take on the Wolverines last weekend. They took 2 out of 3, but could not close out the sweep on Sunday. Watching the games online, I could not help but admire the beautiful venue...at least until the weather turned bad on Sunday. Blake and his guys managed to just beat the snow out of town. Next week is a home series against Bakersfield. Hopefully, they can just keep winning 2 out of three. Taking a series the rest of the way will allow the Broncs to make the conference tournament in May.

 

 

That is all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey...

 

 

"Too bad you can't buy a voodoo globe so that you could make the earth spin real fast and freak everybody out."

 

"If you're a young Mafia gangster out on your first date, I bet it's real embarrassing if someone tries to kill you. "

 

 

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own...

 

 

 

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My Shout Box
Sep 13th

You are so right about 9-11. I don't know if the scars will ever heal. I posted some tributes on my FB page as I did last year.  I got a few responses, but not as many as I thought I would. It's sometimes hard to remember what life was like before 9-11. But I know one thingis  for sure, I will 'never forget'.

I like the Aggies at home, too. Hope the game lives up to the hype. I do think that it could be a high scoring game, though. A&M will let it loose, but I'm afraid their defense will have their hands full with the Crimson Tide offense.  Sadly, I'm more interested in this game than the Texas-Mississippi game. The state of the Longhorn Nation is in disarray.

I know it's only one game. But it has to be sweet to win your first game as an NFL coach on the road in a conference match-up. Congrats, Coach Kelly. I didn't see the Skins-Eagles game as I was working. Didn't catch any highlights either. I caught a bit of the Cowboys game, some of the Saints-Falcons game,  a good amount of the Niners-Packers game, and the second half of the Chargers-Texans game. Haven't really immersed myself into football yet with my baseball team in the hunt for October. 

There are some young studs out there playing QB in the NFL. Look how many of them have started since they were rookies. I watched an ugly second half in NE tonight. Geno Smith was horrible in his second start. The Jets are definitely not intimidated by the Patriots and arguably should have won tonight. It blows my mind to think how many championships have slipped away from the Jets due to an inconsistent offense, and poor performances from their QB's since Favre was there. The defenses in the Ryan era have played winning football. They have deserved so much better.

Enjoyed DT...good stuff.

Shout Box
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Sep 13th

You are so right about 9-11. I don't know if the scars will ever heal. I posted some tributes on my FB page as I did last year.  I got a few responses, but not as many as I thought I would. It's sometimes hard to remember what life was like before 9-11. But I know one thingis  for sure, I will 'never forget'.

I like the Aggies at home, too. Hope the game lives up to the hype. I do think that it could be a high scoring game, though. A&M will let it loose, but I'm afraid their defense will have their hands full with the Crimson Tide offense.  Sadly, I'm more interested in this game than the Texas-Mississippi game. The state of the Longhorn Nation is in disarray.

I know it's only one game. But it has to be sweet to win your first game as an NFL coach on the road in a conference match-up. Congrats, Coach Kelly. I didn't see the Skins-Eagles game as I was working. Didn't catch any highlights either. I caught a bit of the Cowboys game, some of the Saints-Falcons game,  a good amount of the Niners-Packers game, and the second half of the Chargers-Texans game. Haven't really immersed myself into football yet with my baseball team in the hunt for October. 

There are some young studs out there playing QB in the NFL. Look how many of them have started since they were rookies. I watched an ugly second half in NE tonight. Geno Smith was horrible in his second start. The Jets are definitely not intimidated by the Patriots and arguably should have won tonight. It blows my mind to think how many championships have slipped away from the Jets due to an inconsistent offense, and poor performances from their QB's since Favre was there. The defenses in the Ryan era have played winning football. They have deserved so much better.

Enjoyed DT...good stuff.

Shout Box
Sep 13th

You are so right about 9-11. I don't know if the scars will ever heal. I posted some tributes on my FB page as I did last year.  I got a few responses, but not as many as I thought I would. It's sometimes hard to remember what life was like before 9-11. But I know one thingis  for sure, I will 'never forget'.

I like the Aggies at home, too. Hope the game lives up to the hype. I do think that it could be a high scoring game, though. A&M will let it loose, but I'm afraid their defense will have their hands full with the Crimson Tide offense.  Sadly, I'm more interested in this game than the Texas-Mississippi game. The state of the Longhorn Nation is in disarray.

I know it's only one game. But it has to be sweet to win your first game as an NFL coach on the road in a conference match-up. Congrats, Coach Kelly. I didn't see the Skins-Eagles game as I was working. Didn't catch any highlights either. I caught a bit of the Cowboys game, some of the Saints-Falcons game,  a good amount of the Niners-Packers game, and the second half of the Chargers-Texans game. Haven't really immersed myself into football yet with my baseball team in the hunt for October. 

There are some young studs out there playing QB in the NFL. Look how many of them have started since they were rookies. I watched an ugly second half in NE tonight. Geno Smith was horrible in his second start. The Jets are definitely not intimidated by the Patriots and arguably should have won tonight. It blows my mind to think how many championships have slipped away from the Jets due to an inconsistent offense, and poor performances from their QB's since Favre was there. The defenses in the Ryan era have played winning football. They have deserved so much better.

Enjoyed DT...good stuff.

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48 Hours Ago Jefft02 commented on a blog - Thursday's Thoughts - 4/17/14
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