Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I've always been annoyed by Diplomatic Immunity afforded foreign dignitaries in our country.  I've experienced it first hand with illegally parked vehicles in Manhattan when I'm looking for a spot.  Obviously it applies in more serious situations but it reminds me of officials in the sports we follow.  Coaches, managers and players must make themselves available to the media or face fines.  Referees can stick their heads straight where the sun doesn't shine and what?  Nothing!  I'm not saying they should have to face reporters after every game, but at times, gotta face the music.  After Miami's win against Boston yesterday, zebra Ed Malloy absolute had to answer for the "T" he hit C's coach Doc Rivers with.  Rivers could be seen mouthing the words "C'Mon Eddie".  You get a technical for that?  Inexcusable. 
HBO has announced it will feature the Miami Dolphins on it's "Hard Knocks" series.  I didn't watch much when it was Dallas, the Cincy Circus or the disaster known as the Jets, but from what I've read & heard, they were at least interesting.  I'm planning a nap around this one.  The Fish haven't been charismatic or worth paying attention to since Marino retired unless you find Jay Fiedler riveting.  Joe Philbin is their new head coach.  I can't imagine that's gonna have folks knocking each other over to get to the dial.  Know who their quarterback is?  Well they drafted Ryan Tannehill from Texas A & M. I'm betting most football fans are aware of him but could not pick him out of a line-up.  Perhaps this show has run it's course.
It appears a couple of anticipated MLB contenders have survived horrific starts and could very well end up in the thick of things.  The Boston Red Sox are now within 4 1/2 of the division lead now held by the suddenly sliding Orioles.  The Angels have seen Albert Pujols warm up and have reached the .500 mark and though they trail the West leading Rangers by 6 1/2, but lie just 2 1/2 behind the Chisox for the last wild card slot!  Today we'll find out the status of Ace Jered Weaver who had to leave the Yankees game yesterday(Mon) after 3 hitters with severe lower back pain.  When it happened I thought it was his knee, but it was his entire lower half just buckling in agony.  Here's hoping he's okay cause the guy has become an elite starter.  On today's show, your current 5 man rotation to save planet earth.  I have Weaver, Verlander, Kershaw, Felix Hernandez and a few others in contention like Cain, Hamels, CC or a healthy Doc.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Conference Finals, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. As Game 7 approaches in the Celtic-Sixer series, they are looking to capture the final spot in the Conference Finals. This has by far been the most competitive, and evenly matched series of the Semifinals. The first four games of the Heat-Pacers series were very fun to watch. They were physical, high energy, and very competitive. However, once Miami matched Indiana's physical style of play, the series was over. Game six could have been the Pacer's best opportunity to get back in the series, with the Heat down three big men. Both Udonis Haslem and Dexter Pittman were suspended for their flagrant fouls, and Chris Bosh is still out with that abdominal injury. Even without those three players, all the Heat really needed were two. Lebron James and Dwyane Wade combined for 69 points as the Heat closed out the series 105 - 93 in six games. The Heat are red hot going into the Eastern Conference Finals.
Oh yeah, and there is another team in the Playoffs that deserve our attention. That team is the San Antonio Spurs. They have not lost a game so far this postseason and has won 18 straight dating back to the regular season. Although he is old and out of his prime, Tim Duncan is still fully capable of giving you 15 points and 15 boards any given night. Now it is time to see what happens when an unstoppable force meets an unmovable object. This series between the Thunder and the Spurs is sure to be a great one. Both teams have plenty of confidence, but they are two very different teams. The Spurs are very experienced and have an incredibly deep bench, and the Thunder are young and have a crazy amount of talent. I would make a prediction on this series, but to be completely honest, I have no clue who has the upper hand in this. It will be a great series and I can't wait 'til it begins on Sunday.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


The recent winner of the "out of left field" honor goes to Shaquille O'Neal interviewing for the vacant Orlando Magic GM spot.  Really?  Because of the long tradition of great players excelling in the front office right?  Don't give me Larry Bird as he's the exception to the Jordan, Isiah, Kevin McHale rule.  Good luck big fella.
I'm little kid pumped for Spurs/Thunder in this NBA West final.  Boston/LA or a major market team might have been the preference for the suits who care about TV ratings and the like.  From a pure basketball standpoint this is all you could ask.  The up and coming OKC team versus the established, consummate professionals from San Antonio.  It's not the contrast in style many have discussed.  One of the reasons you have to admire the Spurs is they've adjusted on the fly.  No longer do they walk it up after baskets or rebounds and run the offense through Tim Duncan.  The addition of Gary Neal,  Danny Green & Kawhi Leonard has opened things up and of course Tony Parker can still do damage in the open court. 
Nothing like a seasonal first at a most opportune moment end in heartbreak.  Be it the regular season or this Stanley Cup chase, the Rangers had yet to overcome a 3 goal hole.  Last night in game 5 at the Garden they spotted the Devils a 3-love lead and when Marian Gaborik poked one past Marty Brodeur it was all even.  It wasn't meant to be as Jersey, who has really carried play most of this series, grabbed the lead for good on a gorgeous set up to Ryan Carter in front.  Then the Devils iced it with an empty netter.  Game 6 is tomorrow.  When the Rangers won their only Cup of this generation(1994), they overcame a 3 games to 2 hole against Jersey.  Ironically the same guy was in the pipes, 21 year old Martin Brodeur. 
Love Memorial Day Weekend.  Packed with big games and a full slate of MLB.  Looking forward to Nats at Braves in the NL and Rays at Red Sox in the AL.  Giants at Marlins has intrigue with Tim Lincecum throwing versus Josh Johnson in Friday's opener.  Should be fun.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pourquois, Por que, or better yet, WHY??

Is it me or are an element of fans and media completely thrown by the Lakers on the brink of getting eliminated?  We do remember the Thunder being installed as a prohibitive favorite.  If you were in Vegas prior to this series starting and bet $50 on OKC you'd get back $60, for a mere $10 profit.  Had you rolled the dice on LA and they won, that same $50 would have returned $250!  I'm consistently surprised by folks who are surprised by something so NOT surprising.  Had a conversation with my dad and a few of my buds from back in Jersey.  They're very upset with how the Yankees season is moving along.  Again, WHY??  They lost their closer and set up guy.  Beyond CC Sabathia and maybe Hiroki Kuroda they don't have a reliable starter.  Alex Rodriguez might go in the books as the most overpaid, under producing pro athlete in history.  Tampa is way better and the Orioles are playing out of their minds.  I guess if that mindless bimbo pig from Jersey Shore can have a following and make a bunch of cash, everyone feels they're entitled to success. 
Thought on Oregon baseball.  You look at that lineup and don't get filled with fear on a traditional level.  It's not the kind of attack where the 3-4-5 hitters send a chill up the spines of the opposition.  Then you take a closer look.  Not an easy out from top to bottom.  They make pitchers work and keep defenses on their heels.  I get a sense it doesn't matter if they're facing a lefty or righty, power pitcher or locator, they can carve out runs.  Add that to a team who pitches and catches the ball exceptionally well and you have this.  This, being a very good thing.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


You keep repeating the same act and expect a different outcome.  It's nuts.  It never works.  I'm watching the end of Pacers/Heat with a group of people.  We're thinking Lebron is taking the last shot because no way he's going down that road AGAIN.  Lo and behold, he passes to a teammate who misses from behind the arc and Miami loses.  I don't care if it's Dwayne Wade's team or if Mario Chalmers hit a money three in the NCAA final against Memphis 4 years ago.  James is robo-player.  He's gotta shoulder that burden.  It's enough.  The word defer being associated with this guy is officially old and annoying.  Shoot the freaking ball Lebron!  In this case the team needed a 3.  There is not a perimeter defender in the history of basketball who could prevent James from at least getting a decent look. 
Another story you'll hear about is Toronto's Brett Lawrie getting in trouble for slamming his helmet to the ground and hitting home plate umpire Bill Miller.  Honestly, a part of me wishes he clocked Miller in the noggin.  I can't stand umps or officials with an axe to grind or those trying to send a message.  Call the stinking game and get out of my face.  The 2nd strike in the at bat was obscene.  Lawrie is a righty hitter.  The ball was so far outside it caught the white on the inside part of the lefty batter's box.  The punchout pitch was at least 8 inches high and MAY have caught the plate.  Lawrie will and should get a suspension, but so should the punk in blue.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Nats are Back, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. When the season began, we all knew that the Nationals would be more competitive than they have in the past, but with the way they have been playing lately there is no reason to think that they can't win the division. I know that it is early in the season and they are only up by .5 games, but they have one of the best pitchers in the league in Stephan Strasburg and a great young talent in Bryce Harper. Also their 2.64 team ERA leads the big leagues, and when you're pitching like that, you're going to win some baseball games. Bryce Harper has been a blast to watch ever since he came up. Only 19 years old, he has gotten the attention of the entire sporting world, including Cole Hamels. When he plunked Harper, the worst thing that he could have done was admit that he was trying to hit him, although a five game suspension for a starting pitcher isn't anything more than a day off. I think the Nationals have the talent to be a playoff contender, but there is still a lot of baseball to be played.
When Derrick Rose went down in game one I was still sure that the Bulls would be able to get past the Sixers in the first round. Six games is all Philadelphia needed to prove me wrong. The eight seeded 76ers took it to the  one seeded Bulls for only the fifth time in NBA history. Now it looks like the Miami Heat have a clear path to the NBA Finals.

Monday, May 7, 2012


My first reaction to hearing about the former NFL Players bringing legal action against the league was "come on"!  You really didn't know this game was dangerous?  Now with more information being made available about the long term impact, I'm backing way down.  Much will come down to what the owners and league knew prior to the rest of us.  Obviously the in game risk of broken limbs and damaging injuries was common knowledge.  What about the long term impacts to the brain and quality of life?  I harken back to the era when tobacco was regularly promoted and a key advertiser in sports.  Turns out they knew it was poison but lied about it in the name of profit.  We now see the folks at R.J Reynolds or Philip Morris as evil.  The NFL owners are multi-millionaires and billionaires.  Are we really putting it past them to offer an information blockade in the name of massive profits?  Seems like an issue worth pursuing.  Very curious to hear your thoughts on this.