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The World According To Lanz
Talking Sports
Posted by Lanz on Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 4:15:00 AM

SURPRISE YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE STILL READING ADFs BLOG

Our travels were long on Friday; the Mrs. dropped us at Bostonís Logan Airport at 8:00, Daughter was going on a college tour she needed to be there before 10. We took the quick flight down to Newark. From Newark we boarded a prop jet (my ass is still vibrating) . We landed in an airport in the middle of the woods, a ride on the 28X to Liberty and Wood ave and we were there.. We stayed at the Marriott on Penn Ave just a short walk over the Clemente Bridge up to PNC Park (lot Gabbers at PNC this week).

PNC Park lives up to all the hype, just a gorgeous ballpark. Seats are comfortable and the sightlines are great. The park is esthetically eye pleasing with it's architecture and yellow brick. the staff is friendly and it is very clean. It was a great expierence for me and the boys. Remember I'm used to America's Most Beloved and Uncomfortable ballpark . This is amajor league ballpark with a bit of aminor league feel to it and it works big time.

We saw the Pirates play the San Diego Padres and they were two good close games the Pirates winning 2-1 on Friday night and the padres winning 2-1 on Saturday Night. All the scoing in both games was done in the first inning. Friday night Jayson Nix played outstanding defense at 2nd base and Andrew McClutchen replacement who was playing right Gregory Polanco was outstanding and one of the newest exciting players in all of baseball is Josh Harrison. The one thing that stood out in both games were throwing errors mainly either on a steel or the flip on a double player they had to be 4 of them in the two games.

The boys had a ball. It was funny when we took off out of Newark the boys were sitting on the wrong side of the plane and missed the statute of liberty (something I think is still a great American landmark that just makes me proud to be an American everytime I see it. †Ok wiseass I know the French Gave it to us). Little Lanz says to me hey dad there is Metlife Stadium and there is the Jets practice facility. I say how do you know? he says because it says J_E_T_S in big green letters.

What I found amazing was people go to the ball game by boa,t and Iím not talking Kayaks. Iím talking some really nice boats, they tailgate on the riverwalk and then go to the game. Itís pretty cool. The people that we encountered were all very nice and very friendly and yeah we left anything Red Sox or patriots home. We did find it funny we had two older couples sitting near us Friday night from Pittsburgh the folks in front us were from Connecticut and had sign saying we are here to cheer all the ex Yankees and Mets. So they start the wave and one of kids in his 20ís scratches the back of his poster ?tag Ban the Wave, we got a good laugh out of that someone said not bad for Yankee and Mets fans and I had to speak up "you have Red sox fans here too" . The guy from Pittsburgh just groans, it was funny as hell.

We arrived in downtown Pittsburgh at about 3:30pm on Friday and couldnít believe how quiet it is compared to Boston on a Friday at that time- the City is a mess with gridlock and all that stuff, just a lot of hustle and bustle and people.

My favorite person we encountered on the trip was a vendor working at the Primattiís Brother stand in PNC Park. Older probably in her 60ís Black women just doing her job just full of personality. She handed girl like 5 sandwiches and 4 drinks and the tray was going to spill she looks at the boyfriend and says get in her and help her baby. It was like she was talking to one of her grand kids. She was just awesome.

Saturday Night was Fireworks Night and they did an awesome display from the River and then they shot some off from the top of a couple of sky scrappers it was awesome.

Saturday we walked all around Pittsburgh and had lunch at the Jerome Bettis Grill kind of the only reason we had lunch there because it was the Jerome Bettis Grill. We also walked around Heinz Field and the science center, They have an very nice Law Enforcement memorial just across from Heinz Field. A nice tribute to Police officers killed in the line of duty, Sunday the boys saw a two huge freight trains which we donít see too often in Boston. They couldnít believe how long they were, stretching three bridges one going east on going west. That was our weekend adventure..

The boys and I got home about 9:30 Sunday night. They had Hockey Camp on Monday. Got home early enough to watch the last half hour of Mondays camp . they were dragging their ass on their skates. The camp is run by BU goalie coach Mike Geragosian. Mike looks at me and says they will sleep well tonight I said they sure will.

Looking for a hardy volunteer to take my Thursday spot next week Iíll be away. (Thanks to IHM for volunteering).

Boys outside Console Energy Center Big Statute of Mario Lemeuix

Outside the Penguins Admin Offices

OK I Know it was a Baseball Trip

Heinz Field

OOps Baseball

Boys with the Pitt Panther

I Know baseball

Boys across the Alleghany River Guess what's in the Background

Boys on the Clemente Bridge

Big Statute of Clemente

The #1 Jersey seen at PNC Park more Clemente Jersey's followed by McClutchen

Big †Statute of Stargel

(lots of Big Statutes)

Found Lots of Fountains and Big Statutes in Pittsburgh

Big Fountain at Point State Park

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Talking Sports
Posted by Lanz on Thursday, August 07, 2014 at 1:57:54 AM

Has the NFL gone soft over the past couple of years? The trend that teams now practice together all week before an exhibition game oh sorry I mean a preseasongame just seems wrong. I get it from a fan point of view that itís pretty cool to go to an open training camp session and see the opponents defense or offens workout against your teams offense or defense. I even get it that by this point in camp playrs want to hit something other than the guy thatís lined up against them for the past couple of weeks. Yes, I get it honestly I do.

Why, play the game at all? Other than the home team gets the gate and these minigames or joint practices are free why bother playing the games. Letís face itís a breeding ground for injury, This week the Patriots are in Virginia to play none other than the Cavaliers or the Hokies wait Iím sorry I have that wrong I mean they are playing the dare I say it the Washington Professional Football Franchise. Otherwise known as the here it comes read over this part the REDSKINS. The Patriots did the smar thing leaving Rob Gronkowski home. I would have left Tom Brady there as well ditto for Vince Wilfork. Of course the commish would have ben pissed and probably given them affine and suspended Bill Belichick for more games than Ray Rice for not putting the best team on the field. According to several Patriots beat guys at the joint practice Brady has been a beast in these practice sessions tearing up the REDSKINS secondary...

Going back to the original question I guess itís all a little too friendly for me. Your practice together for a few days than you beat the crap other of each other in a game that unless your bubble guy and need to prove yourself nobody takes seriously. Maybe the answer is just practice together an skip the games everybody goes into the regular season at nearly 100% charge a nominal fee for the practices over 4days to make up the gate money lost for not having the preseason games instead of full price as part of a season ticket holder package. Just a thought that they will never go for.

Baseball

The board of somebody or other will be voting on Bud Seligís replacement sometime in the next week. The candidates are drum roll please. Bob Manfred MLBís COO , Tom Brosnan MLBís executive VP of Business operations. And Boston Red Sox† owner and Mork and Mindy producer Tom Werner. Werner probably more for his TV connections than his ability to lead. Brosnan is the guy that keeps the business end going. Mamfred is the guy most likely or at least he seems to be the front runner according to a few in the media including ESPNís Jason Stark who says Manford is to Selig as Adam Silver was to David Stern.

This is a chance for baseball to get progressive and maybe get a few changes or ideas in the game. Sort of like Roger Goodell did in the NFL. Than again if Roger keeps restricting defenses maybe the joint practice will replace regular season games. Manford will probably keep baseball on a steady keel as has been over the past several years keeping revenues up and not doing much else to put his on stamp on the game. Werner and Brosnan are more business guys Werner would probably do some good stuffas far as TV goes using his network connections and I believe thatís the only reason is name is in the race. I donít think he is the right guy for the job. Brosnan is probably just the business guy and will get overlooked.

Baseball really isnít going outside the box on this one. We will see who they vote in.next Thursday.

Zebra Tales

I umpired an over 30 mens baseball league game last Sunday other than guys whinning more than little leaguers, they didnít give me or my partner too much shit it was fun. The game started with one of the Hispanic players bringing in both teams and both umpires for a prayer at home plate. He did in Spanish. Iím not a deeply religious guy but I thought it was very cool.

The gentleman who lead the prayer played professionally at the AA level another gentleman also Hispanic played at AAA and you could tell they were far above the rest of the talent on the field. I also never saw two guys having more fun playing baseball than these two guys just smiling and laughing and doing some coaching as well to their teammates.

The AAA guy was funny he is pitching and he throw hard so somebody on the other team asked him if he still can throw 90. The guy says yes but I donít have against you guys. He was at bat later in the game; he proceeded to tell the catcher exactly what he was going to do. He says Iím going to drive a single to left, steal second on you than steal third, and come home on another hit. He ended up popping out and laughing so hard when he did so he just looked back at the catcher and pointed and laughed. It was just fun to see the passion and people just having fun playing ball.

Lil Lanz and I over the weekend were at a local Hockey store buying new skates at a huge tent sale the store was having. We get the skates and we where waiting to get them sharpened along with what seemed like the rest of North Shore of Massachusetts. They had an olde Tyme Hockey game on from the early 80's †on flat screen while we were waiting it was the Flyers and the Islanders Pete Peters was the goalie for the Flyers and he is laying in the net hurtwhile the trainer is attending to him the rest of the guys are in an old fashioned dony brook beating the snot out of eachother how times have changed.

Lanz and the boys are off for the weekend on another MLB trip destination and details to come next week.

Comments?(6)

Talking Sports
Posted by Lanz on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 4:15:00 AM

Itís deadline day and Iím being selfish. Yes Iím being selfish. I donít want prospects although I know itís the way to go. Itís time to rebuild and my team is a seller because they are in the cellar. Thatís fine sometimes even the previous years World Series Champ have to rebuild. Like the huge salary dump in 2012 getting ride of non contents for prospects and James Looney for Crawford, Beckett, Gonzalez and Nick Punto. The prospect Ruby Delarosa finally is pitching for the Red Sox not badly, not good just kind of middle of the road. ( I know Delarosa got some work last year as well)

I know itís about prospects ,But Damn It if Iím giving up good pitching I want good hitting in return not the kid that will hit 3 years from now. I need a guy too hit now, If I give up John Lester I donít need Bobby from Shits Creek Iowa that baseball perspective calls him a top prospect. A prospect is a prospect until he is not.

Which means he is an MLB player or he is working at an Insurance Company or a car dealership. I donít want to wait for him and have the media tell me he is doing great in Portland and He has been called up to Pawtucket but there is a back log in Boston and Iím never going to see Bobby From Shits Creeek, Maybe old Bobby is a September call up and he gets me excited but in March I hear he isnít ready and will be called up by the All Star break. Then he gets injured and struggles. Maybe he gets a shot the next September. Maybe he gets called every time they need a 4th or 5th Outfielder and the guy ends up logging more Miles between Boston and Pawtucket than Lou Merloni did the 45 minute drive up and down I-95.

I want major leaguers I want people in exchange for people. I donít want to stockpile prospects so I can trade them for more prospects. I want players that will hit the ground running if only for few months until they find new homes for more money.. The Indians traded Cliff Lee to the Phillies for prospects(go head name them) You canít and neither can anybody else. I want player for player.

Yesterday was a day of waiting for a deal to happen all day the Red Sox pulled John Lester out of the rotation last night against the Blue Jays they actually announced it Tuesday. I suspect they had a deal fo him somewhere but couldnít pull it off. At this writing Lester is still a Red Sox and Iím guessing he wonít be at 4 pm this after noon but who knows. Anybody who tracks trades knows sometimes deals just canít get done logically. Sometimes they do.

The deadline is closing in on us and it ainít like the world is going to end but things happened and sometimes the deals that werenít made we find out were better than the deals †that were made. It will be interesting day Iím kind of sick of the local news outfits getting carried away with Lester deal rumors.

Other Stuff

Lil Lanz plays in our town summer sandlot league just a fun league that keeps the kids playing 12 games no practices 2 games a week for six weeks. Last Night his Clemson Tigers were taking on the Miami Hurricanes. The Hurricanes hve several kids fom his Hockey team on it. Kid Jack was playing second base and Little Lan hits the hardest ball I ever have seen him hit. He broke the stitching on Jacks Glove. Just a line shot right at him. I actually thought he broke Jacks hand. Just the glove thank god. Even the other coach said I didnít realize he can hit the ball so hard. Anyway I have never seen that before I thought it was wild.

Keep your eyes on the trade† talks today it will be busy.

Comments?(11)

Talking Sports
Posted by Lanz on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 6:26:56 AM

You can tell that sports are at itís low point of the year. It happens twice a year. That period between the Superbowl and when baseball starts. Sure the NBA and the NHL are playing† then but teams seem to go through the motions gearing up for the playoffs. March Madness runs into baseball now. Itís mid July and there is plenty of baseball but the anticipation of the NFL is getting †folks revved up.

Of course the media canít let certain things go around the NFL for instance Tony Dungy a moral and religious guy. He made comments back in May after† Michael Sam was drafted by the Rams† and Oprah Winfrey wanted to follow this kid with a camera crew because he is openly gay , When Tony Dungy was asked about this he just said totally being honest and said I wouldnít want the distraction. Gee is that news an NFL coach not wanting distractions. It was an innocent comment† reacting to a very specific comment.

The media has run with this† blasting Dungy. Here is where the problem is as I and I alone see it. The way th media is dragging this guy through the mud and calling him names and saying he is this or that are far worse than Dungyís original comments.

Iím sure like most of us nobody cares that Michael Sam is gay. There is no time in training camp for a coach or a GM to worry about it. The question is that he is a 7th round pick and can he play or not. He is on the bubble† before he starts. I guarantee if he makes the Rams some in the media will say the Rams are trend setters and applaud them. Iím sure Jeff Fisher will †put him on the team because he will add value as a football player not because he is an openly gay man. If he doesnít make it. Some in† the media who will advance their own agenda will rake Fisher and the Rams over the coals more than they did Dungy.

The media seems to hold a double standard and full of PC in these cases in reality they arenít telling us their real opinions they are advancing their on agenda. There is were I have a problem with some of these guys who are in the high and mighty.Yeah, there are a lot of media guys that are honest just trying to do a difficult job and I respect them for that.

Baseball

The Red Sox looked good going into the break and coming out of it. The problems continue as they dropped two out of three in Toronto. David Ortiz did make me laugh with a quote in the media (As you all know Iím not the biggest Ortiz Fan) But he told the media that ďhe is going to get hotter than Jamaica in the SummerĒ. You know what he is . he ha sbeen slamming the ball lately. He has 28 homers 5 of them in the last week.

Other than that I donít have much

Comments?(14)

Talking Sports
Posted by Lanz on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 4:15:00 AM

Tuesday Night did a great job honoring Derek Jeter at the All-Star Game. Sometimes they donít get it. But Tuesday they did a good thing for a guy that played out his heart and soul for 20 years and a welldeserved night. The Yankees will top it at his final home game but never the less letís not take anything away from Jeter and the job MLB did for him.

Of course they didnít do a few other things well. I think perhaps a short video tribute to Tony Gwynn before the game would have taken nothing away from Jeterís night. I bet Jeter would have embraced it. Just something on the screen before the game, 5 minutes with a few highlights. Gwynn was a sweet man and also played hard. Maybe he deserved a little recognition especially after his recent passing.

The marketing ploy needed to go with the hats. Really we needed different hats . I like the team hats and I like if they have an alternate cap once and a while but I also like the Blue Hat with red B. I wonít by any other color Red Sox hat. I like the Yankees white NY on the Blue Hat as well. I donít need the white panels and a different color logo. Maybe I need help but this bothered me and I just donít know why Miguel Carbrera just didnít look right in his Black and Blue with white panels †Tigerscap. I think maybe it bothered me because it was nothing more than marketing. The beauty of the baseball all star game is they play in their regular uniforms. They did do that but the hat is a major part of the look. I will admit I did kind of like the Aís hat a little but no damn it they needed the green cap with the gold visor and the white Aís.

I had taken a few weeks off from umpiring with All-Stars and stuff. I have had my busiest week since mid May putting me on a baseball field in some capacity 7 days in a row Coaching two nights except we were rained out last night and umpiring 6 games between Saturday and Saturday.† In one of my games Sunday I saw a cool double play it was a 14 Year old AAU game it was a 2 to 4 double play. Kid got a basehit runner from second hesitated rounding third and was thron out at the plate by a country mile. The catcher saw the kid who got the hit going to second he made a perfect throw nice and low the shortstop got his glove in front of the base and made the play.in a huge cloud of dust.. Just one of those plays you remember .

Zebra Tale

Here is a good one I sold a call Saturday Night. I was working with a very good umpire who does High Level College Baseball, he had the bases for you who arenít familiar how two umpire mechanics work. Base ump positions himself in a spot behind the pitchers mound if there are †runners on. In this case a runner was on second .for the most part he will be behind the mound more towards third so he can watch a pickoff at second and can cover a play at third. My partner was in this position there was a play at first he called the kid out there was a runner scoring from second so I stayed at the plate to make sure he touched and there was no playthere . I turned quickly and saw the first baseman stretch and saw the out call at first usually you can see space between the first basemanís foot and the base. So the coach at first had the best look and he argued to no avail that the first basemans foot was off the base. Between Innings he came up to me and said the kids foot was at least 6 inches of. I explained he had a better look and I looked quick and saw no space than I said to him probably because the first baseman is wearing white cleats. The first baseman was on deck he looks the kid has white cleats on. your right and just quietly walked back to the dugout. Guy was very polite the rest of the game, Actually, he was very polite the entire game even to state his case, I don't know why I knew this kid had white cleats on . Usually, i don't notice or care. It really didn't make a difference but I sold it.Thought I would share.

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My Posts
Aug 15th Lanz commented on a blog - Friday's Freakout with IHM
Aug 15th Lanz commented on a blog - Friday's Freakout with IHM
Aug 15th Lanz commented on a blog - Sports Friday with Hal: Back in Time 2009
Aug 14th Lanz commented on a blog - Talking Sports
Aug 14th Lanz commented on a blog - Talking Sports
Aug 14th Lanz commented on a blog - Talking Sports
Aug 14th Lanz commented on a blog - Talking Sports
Aug 14th Lanz commented on a blog - Talking Sports
Aug 14th Lanz commented on a blog - OH Thursday with Shorty
Aug 13th Lanz added a new blog titled Talking Sports
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