Some Nielson Ratings came out telling us the story on the popularity of the first three weeks of baseball. Low and behold the Giants and A’s were found to be the “sentimental” favorites in thier ratings. In scores out of a possible 5 the Giants registered in first place at a 4.5, and the A’s were 2nd place at 4.2. The scoring for this Nielson rating was based on the amount of “positive” and “negative” things that people are saying online about the teams. I’m sure this has to do with the simple fact that both teams were leading their divisions going into that week. The fans and media are fickle, so I don’t see this lasting all year, but it was cool to see that 20% of things said about the Giants were positive, and 18% of things said about the A’s were positive with only 1-2% of negative things being said about either team. The rest was neutral. I’m sure there’s some more “negative” posts on the A’s for this coming week that will be bringing their score back down with multiple injuries and a losing streak, although I’m not sure if they count that as neutral or negative. I was just happy to see a non-doin work article that put the Giants and A’s #1, and #2.
A couple weeks ago I got to take part in a little spring training for the upcoming wiffle ball season. In case you missed it back in December, Golden Stick Wiffle Ball League is expanding into Northern California next year. Here’s some highlights courtesy of Tony Wagoner. I’m the guy taking all the called strike threes looking, but make no mistake about it, those other guys are some ballers. There’s some filthy stuff here.
If you’re in Northern California – from Santa Cruz to Alturas, Crescent City to Visalia – check out www.wifflebawl.com for more information on tournaments, leagues, etc.
It may not be a secret, but chances are you heard it here first. Not that it’s tremendously unpredictable, but Tyreke Evans will be presented with the NBA Rookie of the Year trophy on Thursday. Today, the Sacramento Kings issued a press release announcing a “Major NBA Award Presentation” tomorrow. Unless Carl Landry is winning the MVP, one can only guess what this press conference entails. Unfortunately, this writer will be unable to attend the press conference due to other work obligations, but this announcement comes as little surprise to anyone on this panel. Evans became just the fourth player in NBA history to average more than 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists in his rookie season, joining the likes of Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, and Lebron James. It is truly an honor well-deserved. Congratulations Tyreke on a great rookie campaign.
This isn’t exactly breaking news, but former Warriors owner, Franklin Mieuli, passed away at the age of 89 on Monday. Chances are you’ve never heard of him, but you’re probably aware that the Golden State Warriors’ fan base is not particularly enthralled with their current owner. That makes the news of Mieuli’s passing that much more sad. He owned the Warriors for 24 years, from 1962 to 1986 and remained loyal to the franchise to this day. He actually was largely responsible for moving the franchise from Philadelphia to the Bay Area. He was commonly seen at W’s games and remained a season ticket holder. You’d recognize him by his signature hats. It’s too bad he didn’t get to see the W’s return to their glory days, but I’ll bet that memorable run in 2007 was a decent consolation. If nothing else, he at least was able to capture an NBA Championship in 1975 as owner of the team. Thank you, Mr. Mieuli, for all that you’ve done for this franchise. Hopefully someone else can take it back to where you had it.
This could be a new installment that I’ll try out from time to time on the site, and it was inspired by none other than my favorite cartoon dad, Peter Griffin from Family Guy. Everyday we run across crap that is annoying or time wasting. Yesterday, I was about to put up a youtube clip of catcher Greg Zaun having an inconcievably hard time throwing the ball back to staff ace, Yorvi Gallardo. He threw three errant balls two that went about 25 feet, and one that sailed over the pichers head to 2nd base. None of the three were close, and it was pretty funny to see Zaun have that Snickers Betty White moment. Cmon Gregg! You throw like a girl!
What grinds my gears with this whole incident, is when I tried to put a clip up yesterday it worked fine, but since I was at work I didn’t post it right away. I wanted to proofread it before I posted it. When I previewed the post, everything looked good as far as the clip goes. A few hours went by, and I went back to the post when I had some down time at the office. I hit the preview button after editing it, and the video was already removed from youtube! I love how the NBA allows all thier clips to stay up, but what the hell NFL and MLB!?! Don’t you want more people viewing your sport, and getting some more publicity out of it? It’s not like youtube is making a killing off these random clips. I mean, how many people looked for Zaun throwing the ball!?! Couldn’t be more than 400-500. MCeezy’s clip of Buhrle’s Amazing Play was taken down because of copywright laws. It’s lame that all the baseball footage on youtube was filmed by a personal camcorder. Just look up Albert Pujols walkoff, and you’ll see what I’m talking about! Anyways, here’s the Zaun clip, until they take it down…
Nostalgia and sports sometimes seem to go together like walkoff homeruns and head rubbing. There’s nothing like thinking back to yesteryear, when things that don’t exist anymore existed. You might see a little more of this in my next post. But today, I was driving behind an SUV with a Houston Oilers license plate frame and it got me thinking about franchises I miss. Note that not all of these franchises are technically defunct – many of them simply moved. But as anyone who reads this blog knows, an Oklahoma City Thunder is nothing compared to a Seattle SuperSonic. Because where would we be without “I had the booze, she had the chronic, the Lakers beat the SuperSonics.” ?
5. Quebec Nordiques – Sure, they technically still exist as the Colorado Avalanche, but in their day, few teams could challenge the Nordiques for the least threatening logo and color scheme. Still, the old days of Joe Sakic and Jocelyn Thibault are something to remember.
4. Montreal Expos – Funny how two of the top 5 defunct franchises are based in Quebec, Canada – a place not often associated with sports. But many of baseball’s greats have come through the Expos’ system. Though mostly a breeding ground for major league prospects, the Expos finally seemed to be putting together a perennial contender, but the strike season of 94 cut short a campaign in which a stacked Montreal squad was forced to surrender a 74-40 start, which many believe led to the ultimate demise of the franchise.
3. Hatford Whalers – It’s odd that two of the top five teams here are hockey teams, but the Whalers make this list for one reason and one reason alone: Brass Bonanza. It still perseveres as one of the greatest sports anthems of all time. If anyone out there in the marketing world is looking for a new campaign, it should center around this classic tune. It’s been thirteen years since professional sports were played in Hartford, somebody needs to at least pick that song up.
2. Houston Oilers – I know the Titans are still the same franchise, and I know Houston has a football team of their own now, but it’s not the same. I can’t watch old highlights of Earl Campbell and Warren Moon without wishing those uniforms were still around. They might challenge the Nordiques for that least threatening logo title – it must be the baby blue and red – but why isn’t anybody suggesting that the Texans reclaim the Oilers’ name?
1. Seattle SuperSonics – I actually hated the Sonics for most of my childhood, mainly because they frequently dominated the Western Conference. But, as we’ve said over and over again here, it’s just not the same without pro basketball in the Emerald City. Seattle just has so much more character than Oklahoma City. They may have a nice thing going with Durant and Westbrook in Oklahoma, but they’ll never touch the duo of Kemp and Payton. Besides, every league should have a team donning the green and gold. NO team should be rocking sky blue and orange. That’s just ridiculous.
I’ve more than documented my man crush on Curry, and it has even stretched to seeing how he’s spending his time in the off season, sad I know. Make no mistake, I’m not a stalker that’s going to ask Curry to go to Santa Barbra to buy some antiques with me like this guy, who has more of a fatal attraction to Kobe than a mancrush. Curry made an appearance showcasing that he has some game on Monday. No, the Warriors aren’t magically in the playoffs, and if your thinking, I already knew he was a baller, and could’ve won rookie of the year this year, but I wasn’t talking about hoops. Curry played in the Quail Hollow Championship Pro Am yesterday, and posted three birdies on his score card, which is pretty impressive. He was paired up with PGA pro Stephen Lowry, Nascar’s Michael Waltrip, his dad Dell Curry, and Charlotte police chief Rod Monroe. I’m not sure exactly what the handicaps were for each player, and I’m sure that the handicaps they had helped their group a little, but their group ended up winning the tourney shooting a 54. Pretty impressive work Stephen. I guess Dell taught him a jumper and a golf swing, even though after the tourney Steph said that his dad beat him by three strokes, I’m sure he’ll beat him the next time they play. I’m far from a good golfer, and anytime I have three birdies in a round whether the course is tough or easy, I’m usually pretty happy. I doubt Stephen gets out on the links all that much, but I have a feeling when his playing days are over he will be better than Jerry Rice is on the Nationwide tour!
Some other news broke out today on the rookie of the year that MCeezy and I debated about, and would be Tyreke Evans. He’s another Norcal baller that will put Sac back on the map . He didn’t get out on the links, instead he is being recognized for his professional accomplishments during his rookie season. Although there is no official announcement made by the NBA, Sactown Royalty seems to have the inside scoop, and has reported that Tyreke will be holding the ROY award on Thursday or Friday. I honestly didn’t get to see that much of Tyreke this year, since I live in Southern California, and it’s rare that the Kings are on anywhere outside of Sac. He joined Lebron averaging 20, 5, and 5 on the year, and had some competition from Steph Curry and Brandon Jennings, but was clearly the most consistent rookie this year. All in all a great year for the rookie, and a deserved winner of the award. Hopefully these two guys can bring Norcal out of the basement of the West.
Common is one of my favorite rappers of all-time, let me rephrase that. Common is one of my favorite “emcees” of all-time. There is a difference. ‘Til this day Resurrection still manages to transcend time for me, in fact, Common in general transcends time, as he is still more than relevant to this day. The shelf life for most Hip-Hop artist is like four years. He’s been at it for decades. He might be one of the trendiest artist alive as well. Ask your girlfriend if she likes the way Common dresses, go on … do it. Yeah buddy, I knew she would.
As do many Hip-Hop artists, Common has tried his hand at acting, and has been quite successful at it too. Perhaps he hasn’t done anything in which he’s “stolen” the show so-to-speak, but he’s done enough to raise a few eye-brows. In fact, he’s done enough so to land his first (male) leading role in Just Wright, a movie in which he plays an NBA All-Star who suffers a severe knee injury and must go through a rigorous rehabilitation regiment with the guidance of potential love interest Queen Latifah in attempts to return to the league. O.K. so going from his day job of being a Hip-Hop legend to acting as an NBA baller might not be such a stretch for him being that the two are synonymous with each-other, but still. Give credit where credit’s due, it’s a leading role.
Why we should watch this movie? Well, because we should all support Common, he’s a rapper (emcee) with a positive message and vibe. Those kinds don’t come along too often. Another reason? We’re sports junkies! C’mon, unless it’s a movie like Fighting, or Never Back Down, us guys are usually interested in sports flicks. Especially if it stars, or has cameos of real professional athletes. This one does! I was 11 or 12 years old when Blue Chips was a feature film, and it quickly became one my favorite movies behind Jurassic Park, simply because Penny Hardaway was in it. If those reasons aren’t valid enough, it stars Paula Patton too. ‘Nuff said. —————————–>
One last thing to note, Common plays for the N.J. Nets in this movie. Perhaps this will be the most positive thing for Nets fans to view regarding their team until the next NBA Draft comes along. I’m just saying. Plus he (Common) kind of reminds me of Stephon Marbury when he puts on that jersey … I always like being reminded of Stephon Marbury.
From the Los Angeles Times – Actor Randy Quaid and his wife were booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on Monday afternoon on felony charges connected to their alleged failure to pay a hotel bill, authorities said. Quaid and his wife, Evi, had previously failed to appear in court on felony charges of defrauding an innkeeper, burglary and criminal conspiracy, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department said. Both were booked in lieu of $100,000 bail, which they posted. The couple left the jail complex about 4:30 p.m. Monday, the department said.
This is too bad. Randy Quaid is three times immortal in my book. First, he became an instant legend in his role as Uncle Eddie in the National Lampoon’s Vacation series. Third, he played Ishmail in one of the Top Two bowling films of all time, Kingpin. Sandwiched in between those two landmark roles was a smaller part but just as legendary. Quaid portrayed a die hard Cleveland Indians fan in Major League, and anyone associated with that movie in any way is all right in my book. I’m not sure how they managed to rack up so many felony charges for simply neglecting to pay a hotel bill. They should’ve gotten it free in the first place. If the weirder Quaid showed up at my Inn, I’d gladly give him a place to stay. You can’t just let Randy Quaid get munsoned out in the middle of nowhere!
We now we have three solid weeks of baseball action in the books, and it looks like it’s time to look at how the top 16 teams stack up. MCeezy did a premature power rankings four games into the year, and it looks like that will likely be the last time the Giants and A’s lead the way. I’d love to see Battle of the Bay Part II, but unsurprisingly I don’t see anyway that would happen.
#1 Tampa Bay Rays – Nobody should be surprised to see the Rays playing so well or at the top of the rankings. We knew they could score runs, but we didn’t know that they’d have Garza and Price dominating the way they have! The Rays are 9-1 on the road including a sweep of the ailing Red Sox. They are trying to make a push in what could be the final year they are all together. I hope they do, and that’s why I picked them to win it all!
#2 Minnesota Twins – Who needs Joe Nathan!?!
Is this the Bash Brothers Version 2.0?
Losing him hasn’t hurt them on their way to one of their best starts in recent memory at 13-6. Rauch has been a huge pickup for fantasy teams, and has been great for the Twins closing out games. Justin Morneau looks like he’s finally healthy and back to his old MVP form. Mauer wants to continue off his stellar 2009 campaign, and has kept that MVP form thus far. Maybe Nike should look into getting these two guys some MVPuppet commercials.
#3 New York Yankees – They just lost their first series of the year, but this biggest concern should be Vasquez, who has been terrible donning the pinstripes compared to his solid 2009 season in Atlanta. It’s just reminding us that moving from the NL to the AL East isn’t a good move (see Brad Penny). Tex still isn’t hitting, but he will eventually…
#4 St. Louis Cardinals – Speaking of Penny, going from the Sox to the Cards seems to have helped him regain his form (3-0, 0.95 ERA). They’ve have great offensive players that don’t need to be mentioned, and now a trio of solid pitchers. Even Piniero is pitching well. Dave Duncan know how to mold pitchers to their strengths!
#5a Oakland Athletics – 12-8 doesn’t seem like that noteworthy of a start, but there is noway before the season started you could convince me that they would be atop the west for this much of April or any of it for that matter. Since 1992, they have only started 12-8 once, so there’s some reason for renewed but reserved optimism in Oakland. Their new style of play has them winning sooner than expected. Lots of injuries already though, and hopefully it’s not a sign that 2007-09 injury plagued seasons are going to continue. Gio has the highest ERA of 3.68 out of all their starters, which is amazing! This stat sums up the main reason they lead the league in starters ERA, and are close enough to win any given game.
#5b. San Diego Padres – Bud Black seems to have his guys playing some great baseball. This is the second team in a row that everyone, including myself, had very low expectations for. You may want to call their owner Uncle Scrooge with their $38M payroll, but the guys in there are playing smart, and have been opportunistic on the base paths, and helped them score some runs! It’s surprising how good their offense has been, and just like the A’s they are stealing bases, and have guys hitting for good averages. We will see if that starting pitching can hold up… Continue reading
The other day I made my first splash into College Baseball posts, and today I ran across a story that got me a little peeved about a Middle school track team, and was inspired to pop my second cherry in as many weeks. The story can be read here, and is about two Iowa middle school track kids are being accused of “tackling a teammate, and placing their testicles on his face (aka teabagging)“. The boys aparantly tackled the victim to the gound and commensed the teabagging hazing just before practice. The victim who hasn’t been named, filed charges on the two “hazers” on April 13th.
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve witnessed some ruthless stuff growing up that probably went a little too far at times (especially in college), but in the end it was just part of growing up as a normal guy. Hell, my High School hazed all their freshmen by making us walk through an arch while the upper classmen hucked pennies at us as we walked through the lamest archway ever made. That tradition didn’t last long (only two years I believe). Anyways, in every sport there is hazing, and some of it might turn a little gay, but at the time it’s usually more funny than gay. Even in the pros there is hazing, just ask any rookie on any team. You can bet that Richard Seymour is going to make Lamarr Houston his bitch this year out in Oakland. There is no way I can say that I wouldn’t have been pissed about getting teabagged when I was the kid, but there is noway in hell I’d be mad enough to file charges! What happened to getting even the old fashion way?!? Cmon kid, get them back with a solid prank instead of getting all legal with it! Even a 14-year-old should be able to come up with a get even scheme. If these two hazing kids serve any Juvenile Hall time for this that would be the true crime. Teabagging is nothing compared to the horrific broomstick fiasco we heard about awhile back. If you want to cringe a little, here’s that link….