Monday, November 9, 2009

Ughhh, I can't even see the puck.

This is a die-hard's take on the current landscape of the NHL, and the young talent pool that rivals any sport. So take it away Jason...

Well, its November and there’s a draft in the air. No not because of the changing seasons, but because you just walked into the ice arena to root on your favorite NHL team, right! Well not exactly, but here’s a few reasons why you need to get out there and see just exactly what you have been missing.

The season is about 16 games in (I know what youre thinking, HOW COULD I MISS 16 GAMES!!?) and we have the usual going on, Crosby, Malkin, and Ovechkin running away from everyone else in the league. No one compares, do they even play hockey in cities other then Pittsburgh and Washington? Wait, they do? And everything I just said isn’t true? Wow, what a revelation.

Yes ladies and gentleman I was lying, and I would like you all to meet Anze Kopitar, your NHL scoring leader and Phenom in the making, and he plays where? Way out west in the forgotten hockey town of Los Angeles for the Kings, where the likes of Wayne Gretzky once graced the ice. 13 goals and 14 assists for 27 points and the lead in the NHL scoring race separates 22 year old Anze Kopitar from the likes of those mentioned above. For some perspective, Crosby known to by many as leagues best, is currently sitting with 9 goals and 7 assists for 16 points, in the same number of games. You must also look out for Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks (pictured at right) as well as Steven Stamkos on the Lightning.

That trend doesn’t end there either, as the defensive scoring race boasts 4 rookies or sophomores in its top 11 players. That includes 19 year olds Drew Doughty and Michael Del Zotto, (NHL’s October Rookie of the Month) and 24 year olds Alex Goligoski and Kyle Quincy making waves for the Kings, Rangers, Penguins, and Avalanche respectively.

Two young goaltenders, 21 year old Steve Mason of Columbus and 23 year old Jonathan Quick of Los Angeles have also played big roles in jump starting their teams to fast starts in the 2009-2010 season.

It's out with the old and in with the new, NHL talent that is,and the only way to do that is by supporting your favorite or local NHL team, and experiencing it all for yourself. The Fastest and "Coolest" game on Earth!!! Get out there and support your team, a new era has begun, don’t be that guy that misses it. You definitely don't want to be that guy.

Thanks, to Smalls (Jason), who can be read @

Peace, for now until later.

- Aaron

MAAAAA, the Meatloaf!!!

To people who know the Florida Panthers, the best thing about the franchise is???

Sorry, but you guessed incorrectly unless you said Randy Moller, the voice of your Florida Panthers on the radio. This man has created a secret world known only to those who listen to the Dan LeBatard radio show on 790 The Ticket, Panthers lovers, or people who came across his exploits on Youtube.

Anyone who does not know, NEEDS TO KNOW. Moller has turned every Panthers goal call into a chance to re-live the past, bring up the present, or simply just make you wonder.

The reference from Wedding Crashers mentioned in the title is definitely one of the best. Another is WIILLSSSOOOON!!! - Tom Hanks in Castaway

Take a listen, and let Randy explain to you why he is the 1st star amongst Hockey Broadcasters.

Friday, October 16, 2009

October skY

OCTOBER. There is something different about this month. Its the turning of the leaves. The cool air beginning to blow. And a month in which you truly, can be Lost In Sports. It is a month that is filled with all four major sports leagues--NFL, MLB, NBA & NHL.

Baseball brought the end of the regular season with an amazing run by the Twins to the AL Central title. The MLB Playoffs have been sooo unexciting, the best part has been watching Jeter's heady baseball skills. 3 sweeps in the Division Series, and looks like a sweep for the Yankers, and a quick 5 game set for the Phils.

The only part worse about these playoffs has been Baseball's inability to capture their audience. Seriously. 3 days off for the NLCS, and 5 for the ALCS to begin. These breaks make it more about the "impact players" on a team, and not the team as a whole. Baseball misses the point, once again. And if it can't fall further, a possible 6 days off between the LCS and World Series if they end in 4 and 5 games like I mentioned before.

With October, we also see the return of NBA Basketball and NHL Hockey. These indoor, winter sports, are nothing short of exciting from the puck drop to the tip-off. Each fan likes their favorite sport for whatever reason, and basketball gets a bad rap for those I cannot understand.

NBA teams are comprised of a max of 15 players, and only 12 active on any given game day. Understand, that rarely do teams even use more than 9 players, unless otherwise dictated. That makes you have to be 1 of 270 people in the ENTIRE WORLD, to even set foot on the court, let alone make and impact on a NBA game.

I don't try to talk about hockey, but plenty of my buddies CAN, AND WILL. From time to time, I will have a guest hockey blogger, most likely to be Walter or the Jets Fan.

Finally, October is about not losing the chance to make the playoffs or stumbling through the early-middle part of your schedule. The Miami Dolphins have rallied back from an 0-3 hole, and are now 2-3, more importantly 2-0 in the AFC East. For the Gators fans, a tough win yesterday vs. Arkansas, but the first BCS rankings have UF 1st by .030 over Alabama.

Peace, for now until later.

- Aaron

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

MLB Season Wrap & Postseason Preview

NL- Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, Wild Card-Florida Marlins
AL- Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Oakland Athletics, Wild Card- New York Yankees
World Series Winner- Chicago Cubs

SOOOOOOOOO WRONG IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE. What the hell was I thinking about the A's making it, and I should've known with the Cubs.

So that makes it 1/4 in the NL and depending on if the Twins win today's play-in game i could get 3/4 in the AL. It just seems like the Twins are gonna make it after everything going on with them--Last year @ Metrodome, Mauer misses beginning of season (hits .364), Morneau injured near season's end, etc.

Should I even attempt predicting the NL? Dodgers, Phillies, Rockies, & Cardinals. Real quick Dodgers limp into playoffs and have to face the best player (Pujols). I like the Cardinals winning the NL, for 4 reasons--Albert, Carpenter, Wainwright, & La Russa. The other series Phillies-Rockies is a matchup of flawed clubs in my opinion. Phillies cannot closes games out and the Rockies don't have any #1 pitcher (Cook, Marquiz, Jiminez just a bunch of #2 guys).

In the AL, you got Red Sox-Angels and Yankers-Twins/Tigers. Easy, Yankees take it because the play-in game ruins you. For the other matchup my gut says Sox, but it seems like an Angels year. So in the end Angels-Yankees and the Yankees take the cake.

World Series winner-- CARDINALS. Best combo of hitting, pitching, and managing in the bigs.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Football- 3 weeks through September

There is much to be said about playing a SEC team (Tennessee) who sets out to to prove to the #1 team in the land (Florida) that they are a worthy opponent. Being a Gator fan, I walked out of yesterday's game happy in more ways than one. They won a sloppy, gritty, hard-fought game and if Tennessee had a mere mediocre quarterback the outcome could have been different. Facing obstacles like a team stricken with the flu and the inability to throw ten yards beyond the line of scrimmage (against an NFL style defense), the Gators proved they can win any type of game.

The 09-10 Florida Gators are on a mission to become the only undefeated team that this school has ever seen. Each of the three championships have seen one loss--FSU in '96, Auburn in '06, and Ole Miss in '08. Make this team one-dimensional and they still can pull out the victory. The real test comes October 10 in Baton Rouge against LSU at 8 p.m.

Why is Grey's Anatomy still nominated for this bullshit (Emmy Nomination). Nobody likes that show anymore. Is this a stream of consciousness? Why doesn't LOST win it all?

Anyway, Sunday Night Football pits the Giants v. Cowboys in a standard early season NFC East Battle. So though 1 week and 14 1/2 games of week 2, what have we seen? NOTHING. The 13-3 Tennessee Titans of '08, begin 0-2 losing to the Steelers and TEXANS! These same Texans who could not gain a first down against the 2-0 NY Jets. Also, how the hell does San Francisco go 2-0 beating the Seahawks and Cardinals (two divisional games), that's crazy! Most surprising thing I have seen so far is...the Dolphins committing 4 turnovers against the Falcons in week 1. And that brings me to Monday Night Football with the Colts v. Dolphins. Miami has not won a prime time game since 2004- 57 weeks (thanks to the Sun-Sentinel for that stat).

As for other news in football...the Miami Hurricanes are close to being back. Ranked #9 in the AP Poll may be high, but beating two ranked teams says something about your team. I will the say that talent is 90% of winning in College Football and Miami usually has the most on any given field.

Thanks to Eric Berry, Lane & Monte Kiffin for giving the Gators the "scare" they needed to get things right for the rest of the season! I look forward to the coming weeks and a possible inters-state match up in Pasadena, that is if The "U" has come back full circle. HAAAAAAA, I am getting WAY to ahead of myself. Let's just beat Kentucky in Lexington next week and the Heisman is like winning NL MVP, WHO GIVES A SHIT? The goal is the crystal ball, and nothing else, actually the SEC Title first.


Peace, for now until later.

- Aaron

Go Fins, Heat, Panthers, the Fish. Low payroll and all, still better than the Braves and Mets.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Baseball Numbers

I like to think that I know a lot about what I am talking. Here's the thing though, when speaking about baseball the numbers don't lie. So in baseball, if you don't know what you are talking about, then you REALLY have no clue. I discussed awhile ago how managers, more often then not, make decisions based on the numbers and averages.

In the early 2000s Billy Beane (Oakland A's GM) was the talk of the baseball world with his ability to consistently put a winning product on the field with a low payroll. Unfortunately the A's never made it past the ALCS, and now have come back to the medicrity, and are no longer contenders. Why? Pitching. Rich Harden, Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, Houston Street are all gone and the A's have missed on many prospects they got in return.

I digress. The point I wanted to make is, that the Billy Beane's Moneyball theory was based on on-base-percentage. Basically, people who get on base with a high percentage, are extremely valuable to an offense's success. This instead of looking mainly at batting average for a batter's success rate.

OK, so to my point. As GM the bullpen might be the most overlooked unit with the exception of Closer. How does one tell whether or not a bullpen pitcher is successful as what they do? I think it must be more then just their ERA, which is a stat that at times can hide one's deficiencies.

I begin with WHIP. Walk + Hits per Innings Pitched. Having a WHIP lower then 1.40 is good, but the best pitchers hover around 1-1.10. Potential Cy Young winner in the NL Dan Haren's is 0.94 RIDICULOUS. The real stat to determine bullpen guy's success is their inherited runners stranded. What is better then a guy a gets the out he needs in a major spot, because guys are on base. This stat is not covered on any site with regularity. I found this online. Some Dodger fan HATES Guerillmo Mota, which as a former Marlin, he loved to let runners score when he came in relief.

So let's come up with a better way of quantifying a relief pitcher's success. WHIP + Inherited Runners Stranded is definitely the right start.

Peace, for now until later.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

NYC v. Boston

I will be traveling to the Northeast today, departing from Gainesville. I have a questionable infatuation with this area of the United States, most likely due to the awesome history of the region. My travels will lead me to Boston by way of bus from New York City, spending 3 nights in each hub of American culture new and old. Right now, I'm waiting to board mini plane. I've never flown on a small jet like I'm about's something crazy like 15 rows os seats, should be an experience.

OK. So I have been back in Gainesville since early Tuesday morning and it has taken until now to come up with the criteria to weigh these two cities against each other. Food, Nightlife, Public Transportation, the People, and finally the sports.

Depending on what you are looking for, each city has its own benefit. But, for my personal liking NYC is where its at. The sheer volume of choices on every block is astronomical, and not only the choices but availabilty of late night food. I did have amazing Italian food in the North End of Boston, so that is definitely worth mentioning.

By far, the people in Boston are waaaaaaay more friendly. I walked the streets of both cities by myself and in NYC the most you get is a head nod from a passerby. Bostonians spoke and even responded when I returned the how you doin' question. It may be the amount of young people that live in Boston, which is refreshing to see when riding the trains. Everyone in NYC is just always in a rush.

As for public transportation NYC domination. The subway system is set immaculate. Everywhere is accessible with a minimal amount of walking to and from each subway stop. The only issue is the cleanliness of the subway cars, but the short wait periods are great. In Boston the main way of moving through the city is by way of the T-Train. This has 4 branches which connect and all lead to the same ending point. The problem is a small amount of cars for each train, long waits, and decently far walks. Although Boston's cars are far cleaner, newer, and more comfortable.

Nightlife doesn't even compare. Bars and clubs close at 2 am in Boston, which blows, it's like being back in Gainesville. The thing is I don't like staying out so late, but that's where the late night food comes into play. In NYC, there is no time to close, just a time to when alcohol is stopped being served.

And now for the sports. Recently speaking, Boston is #1 in the USA, not even just between these two cities. All-time its pretty much up in the air. It really depends on what sport you are talking and even then what era.

So, in the end it happens to be a personal choice. The life in Boston is much more quiet and slow-paced. New York is the city that never sleeps and is another world in and of itself. Personally, I choose NYC.

- Aaron

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What makes Golf great?

As Tom Watson failed to make the putt on the 18th Green which would have sealed his 9th Major victory a discussion came about in my dwelling. A buddy of mine was not impressed with the feat of having a near 60-year-old man playing at a Championship level in a Major Tournament. That in itself is what makes the game of Golf a beauty.

Only in this sport is a senior's skill level become equivalent to a 25 or 30-year-old by way of course conditions. Watson's inability to close on the 18th hole does not take away from his accomplishments during this 138th British Open. He lead the tournament from Round 1 to the last hole, and let's go with that he choked. Yes, it sucks. He may not have this opportunity again...he hasn't won a PGA Tournament in 11 years (Mastercard Colonial, '98) and not won a Major in 26 years (Open Championship, '83). I am not included Senior(Championship) Tour wins, of which he has 12 since 1999 (5 majors & 7 regualar).

Tom Watson had the chance to elevate himself up the all-time Major Championships list, and it was said best on the ABC broadcast..."He has only himself to blame." In no other sport can a sixty-year-old need to blame himself for not winning the most difficult tournament played all year. If you can't recognize that greatness, your aptitute must be checked.

Done, BOOM.

- Aaron

If Tiger didn't suck this weekend and Phil was playing, this post probably would not have been written.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Chatter Box- NL East discussion

So there is a lot of talk about the NL East and the weak play of its teams, especially the New York Mets...

To the outside fan looking in it may come as a surprise that a (Mets) payroll reaching just below the $150 million mark ($149,373,987) don't have some guys who are competent replacements if there starters went down to injury. Thanks to the injury bug the Mets have been dawdling through this season while Beltran, Delgado, and Reyes have all been lost for significant parts of this year. Not to mention their $6 million dollar bullpen upgrade in J.J. Putz has been far less than the what they hoped (1-4, 5.22, & on DL since June 6). And do I love the leaning on bad starters for quality starts nearly everytime out.

Now for a quick take on the Nationals, the team batting average is awesome .263, 4th best in the NL and the 2nd best OBP at .344. Too bad their league worst ERA 5.19 keeps them out of most ballgames from the start. I also heard the other day, their prized #1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg has not even been contacted by the club regarding a contract, Scott Boras needs to stick a cell phone up his ass.

The Atlanta Braves are somewhat of a jauggernaut. They went old with the bats this past offseason because they thought the pitching was there with Lowe, Vasquez, Jurrjens, Kawakami, & phenom Tommy Hanson as a mid-season call up. True to form the pitching is not Atlanta's issue, team ERA of 3.87 is 5th best in the NL. Problem is, Lowe has been inconsistent at best, and he was supposed to be their ace. Looks like the Braves are working towards 2010 already if you ask me, but you never know if another trade is in their works.

And now the Philadelphia Phillies. This team boggles my mind. So far 1 game under at home (22-23) and the Majors most wins on the road (27-15), after defeating the Florida Marlins down in Miami last night. Hitting, Hitting, Hittting, and not to much pitching has been their recipe for wins this year. Jamie Moyer has a 5.58 ERA, 9-6, but against the Florida Marlins 2.37, 2-1. He is the ultimate Marlins killer. I would rather face Johan, Greinke, Lincecum, Halladay, Haren, or Beckett than this guy if I had to win ONE game. For his career Jamie Moyer is 13-2, 2.83 in 15 career starts against the fish. Let's just hope Brad Lidge can't figure it out by season's end.

Finally, the Florida Marlins with probably the best team all around when everything is working. YEAH, I SAID IT. Nobody has a better starting rotation with Josh Johnson playing ACE. Nolasco, Miller, Volstad all have lights out stuff and each start gives them more seasoning. The bullpen is not an issue, as it hasn't been most of the year. Matt Lindstrom is a problem, but we look to the fact that he is still only in his 3rd Major League season, and first as the full-time closer. The major problems for the Marlins are Jeremy Hermida sucking 80% of the time and it seems we pay our guys to strike out. HANLEY RAMIREZ is more MVP than anyone but Pujols. I hope Uggla is gone soon, Hermida cut, Maybin brought up, and Gaby Sanchez given a chance.

LET'S GO FISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Peace, for now until later.

- Aaron

Saturday, July 11, 2009

"It is not where you land, but where you end up."

That was a quote by me! POSTERS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST...

Well since the fourth of July feast much has happened in the world of sport.

Le Tour de France has begun, and of course with little fanfare in America the beautiful! Lance Armstrong is cycling to win the tour after a three year hiatus. Not to mention he is a winner of the tour a record 7 consecutive years running from 1999-2005. For the most part Lance is back to "show the world" he can win amidst all the doping & p.e.d. speculation which encompasses his sport. Regardless, he is an amazing human being whose achievements must go down as Top 10 in all of sports history. If you've been in hiding and do not know already he is a testicular cancer survivor. If you have any decency in his cause @ I did back when those awesome yellow braclets first came out!!

Moving on, Roger Federer is better than Tiger Woods? Well, that debate remains in Tiger's hands, but at the moment Roger has the upper hand. Federer recently won his sixth Wimbledon Title, which elevated him into unprecedented territory with his 15th career grand slam championship. He surpassed legend Pete Sampras who sitting courtside offered thumbs up as Roger jumped in the air as he claimed the title. Back to the Tiger debate, the eras of both Federer & Woods have helped each guy achieve amazing success in their respective sports.

I am by no means a racist, but I do find it somewhat amusing that African-Americans dominate the country club sports of Golf and Women's Tennis. An all Williams' Wimbledon final had Serena take down sister Venus. Somewhere in their graves old white man are screeching. But, I love it, only if James Blake could start winning big!

The Major League Baseball All-Star game is in a couple days and my prediction for starting pitchers has probably fallen up short. Santana v. Halladay, hey both made their teams, but who couldn't pick those two! It should be a great one, now that the game has meant something for a couple years running.
Peace, for now until later.

- Aaron

Friday, July 3, 2009

Feast on the Fourth...America's Birthday

Me and some of my buddies will be making an extravagent feast for the birthday for this beloved country. On the menu will be a number of various dishes to satisfy my bountiful hunger. The night before will be the makin' of the desserts...Key Lime Pie & Layered Cake w/ cream cheese frosting...mmmmmmmm.

Happy Fourth of July to everyone...

- Aaron

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

So what does it all mean?

USA Soccer with a 2-0 halftime lead. Brazil slaps them in the face in the second half to win 3-2, claiming the Confederations Cup Title.

Sort of like the Kobe Bryant led Lakers taking a 3-1 series (on Kobe's game 4 buzzer-beater) lead on the Steve Nash led Suns in the 2006 NBA Playoffs. Suns come back to win the final three games by an average of 18.7 ppg, and scoring an average of 120.3 ppg. That was pretty much Kobe Bryant (and nobody else) versus the best offense of this decade.

It is without doubt Brazil has the better everything. So what did the USA performance in this tournament show the world? Like the Kobe Lakers of 2006, USA made a statement saying that they have a capable team, who is able to compete with the world's best. In 2006 Kobe showed he is capable of scoring in prolific numbers, which can elevate his team to another level. USA Soccer needs to maintain their worldclass play for an entire match and tournament, not just a half.

The other night on Pardon-the-Interruption Bob Ryan questioned America's sense of entitlement in sporting events. That the general feeling surrounding the matches outcome, was of dissappointment, as if USA was supposed to win just because they led after 45 minutes. He went on to say that this wasn't as much of a choke job, as it was Brazil simply being the superior squad.

I am in 100% agreement with this. It really cannot be a choke if you are the inferior team. The point being is that in a match of this sort, Brazil v. USA on the World's Stage (the site of 2010 World Cup), you cannot judge a performance solely based on the first 45 minutes of play.

Brazil deserves the credit for winning, but do not discount this USA team any longer. By defeating Spain, and nearly Brazil, the world is on notice that USA Soccer cannot be walked over or looked past on the pitch.

Now, only if anybody in this country actually cared.

- Aaron

Saturday, June 27, 2009

For The Gators Fans...

Enjoy this home-video of The Florida Gators Band (Pride of the Sunshine) performing Michael Jackson's "Thriller"

Link coming shortly...

- Aaron

Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough...

The NBA Draft has come and gone...the NHL had one too...and baseball season has surpassed the 70 game mark as interleage winds down this weekend.

USA Soccer had what is possibly be the biggest win in its history. A 2-0 win over Spain in the Confederations Cup who went in ranked #1 by FIFA. Brazil now stands between the U.S. and a Confederations Cup title which be HUGE to win the Americans some respect in the futbol world. So Sunday @ 2:30 pm watch PLEASE be a part of Sam's Army.

June 25, 2009 saw the passing of an iconic legend who saw a man in the mirror that can heal the world with billie jean. Michael Jackson remains on all our hearts and minds each passing day, and will truly be remember as a musical genius. Hands down the greatest artist in the last 50 years.

South Florida news & notes...

The Miami Dolphins are starting a trend which personally I am finding both amusing and clever. Stephen Ross has added Jimmy Buffet and Gloria Estefan (and husband) as minority owners. A brilliant idea that is giving the South Florida community more of a reason to fall in love with the Dolphins once again. Not to mention the product on the field will be GREATLY improved regardless of how difficult the schedule is. Margaritaville meets the Conga Line @ LandShark Stadium...should be a show to see!

Pat Riley & Dwyane Wade have exchanged some soft blows about the superstar guard's impending free agency following the 09-10 season. Riley says he can't do anything until Wade re-signs, and Wade says he won't re-sign until Riley makes a move. All I ask is that Wade doesn't become too selfish this summer, and he works along with the core of Beasley, Chalmers, & Cook to help them grow as players.

The Florida Marlins fought back to the .500 mark and even went 2 over, before a loss Friday night to the Rays. The starting pitching has hit a stride, but the bullpen has begun to faulter. A move is needed to bring in another right-hander to help, as the struggling Lindstrom is on the DL for a number of weeks.

Peace, for now until later...

- Aaron

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Every time the conversation about the sport that doesn't use a ball arises, I always come back to the same issue. There is NOT ONE person covering the sport who I look forward to telling me about "the fastest game on earth."Barry Melrose WILL NOT suffice any longer.

I need more, NEW, and better personality to teach & talk to me about hockey.

You see it everywhere in the other three major sports.

NFL has an array of former pro bowlers and legends in and around the coverage of games. Deion Sanders, Steve Young, Warren Sapp, John Gruden, Dan Diedorf, Tony Siragusa, Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, Jimmy Johnson, Marshall Faulk and list goes on. For god sake Tiki barber retired so he could cover the games on TV!

The NBA is a league like none other because it is the smallest and most close-knit of them all. Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller, Magic Johnson, Jeff Van Gundy, Hubie Brown, Dr. Jack Ramsay, Jalen Rose, Mark Jackson, Jamal Mashburn, etc. In the recent past Steve Kerr & Danny Ainge left the booth to become GM's.

MLB is covered in more depth than all others sports just because the nature of the game. Orel Hershiser, Dave Winfield, John Kruk, Joe Morgan, Harold Reynolds, Steve Phillips, John Hart, Buck Showalter, and many many more.

Why has the NHL and its players seem to have lost out on the easy transition from playing their game to analyzing their game?

There are a few responses to this question.

1) The NHL is less "fraternal" than all the other sports. Meaning less camaraderie exists between the players, coaches, management, league, and ultimately the ones who cover the sport.

2) The previous response could stem from the fact that more languages and nationalities are in the NHL than any other sport. When the best players in the game do not assimilate very well into America and learn english, it leads to the inability to connect with the fans.

3) The networks, mainly Versus (they also run NBC's coverage) have failed to put people in place that a casual fan would recognize and latch onto. ESPN has tried to use Barry Melrose & Matthew Barnaby, but that is not enough!But that does not excuse Great American & Canadian players: Messier, Borque, Hull, Roy, Amonte, Vanbiesbrouck, Leetch, Richter, Robitaille, Lindros, Primeau, & LaFontaine...just to name a few. Of these guys only Vanbiesbrouck and Hull have entered the the media side, and that was only in a minor role.

Has the NHL sport not been as good to these guys as the MLB, NBA, & NFL to its players?
- No! They all have made millions.

I place blame on; First the players for not caring about the sports view in America, and Second the networks which cover the sport.

A message to Versus, if you are going to be the only network which covers the sport, then hold some freakin' auditions for players, coaches, and front office people who will add some insight that a casual fan is thirsting for.

At least the players and on-ice product are getting better! Only time will tell if the people covering the sport do as well.

- Aaron

Friday, June 19, 2009

Baseball is A Numbers Game

In Sport one (1) fact remains a constant. It is that Baseball was, is, and continues to be all about the numbers. In no other sport can numbers, and moreover SPLITS teach you about player's aptitute or ineptitude in ANY GIVEN SITUATION.
Check out Baseball Reference for any, and all information on stats.

Let's take a look a former Marlins Catcher, and current Twins backup Mike Redmond. He is a career .291 hitter with only 13 homers in 2140 at-bats, BUT off Tom Glavine a .438 with 2 homers in 48 at-bats. Redmond is also a lifetime .327 hitter versus left-handed pitching, while a pedestrian .272 against a right-hander. Now, remember that Glavine is a Hall-of-Fame pitcher who for his career has a .256 BAA right handers.

Glavine v. Redmond is a mysterious instance in which a hitter dominates a certain pitcher for god-knows why.

Here is a list of just some of the infinite amount of spilts that are available...
2 outs, RISP (runner in scoring position) - A "clutch" split
Day Game/Night Game
By Count
As starter/substitute
vs. Team or Pitcher
...And many, many, many, more.

The fact remains baseball is a number game, but at what point does a manager decide to look at the player and not the splits, or scouting report. Sometimes too often in my opinion, managers make decisions on what paper says, and they lose that player-manager trust which instills confidence in the player.

As a Marlins fan I can remember a plethora of decisions Fredi Gonzalez has made that purely were paper-based. Sometimes they work, but sometimes they don't, and that is why Managing baseball HAS to be more than just based on statistics.

Tony La Russa revolutionized baseball with his use of the bullpen, and he is doing it again by batting his pitcher 8th. Now this is a man who isn't afraid to go against what the stats predicate.


Monday, June 15, 2009

The Dog Days of Summer

Now that hockey and basketball have come to a close the never ending season of the NFL is at the forefront. Oh those OTA's really get me goin! Really though, I love reading Omar Kelly's Twitter, he is my eyes & ears for the Miami Dolphins. As well baseball canters on with 3 and 1/2 months to go. Next up to look forward to is the Midsummer Night Classic. VOTE FOR HANLEY!!! I predict a Santana v. Halladay matchup highlighting the night. Last year Josh Hamilton stole the show and we said goodbye to Yankee Stadium. Josh Johnson should be an All-Star. Not just saying this as a Marlins fan...He is a Top 3 Pitcher in the National League (Santana, Lincecum, then Josh).

Congrats to Crosby and Kobe. Leaders of Men.

- Aaron

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Growing Up in the NBA

I started this thought after reading a Dwight Howard Twitter post “I wish I had those free throws back, but I can't shoot them again. All I can do is move on & try to do better next time." –@DwightHoward. Dwight Howard is right, he has to move on and try better next time (his next Finals appearance that is). Barring a Magical comeback, in my opionion the series is already won.

This led me to the idea that growing pains happen in the NBA like no other sport.

Put into context the much maligned behavior of Kobe Bryant immediately thereafter Shaq’s departure during the 2004 offseason. Missed playoffs, two consecutive first round defeats to Suns (4-3) & (4-1), finals loss to Celtics, and now entering game 5 of the 2009 NBA Finals with a 3-1 advantage.

The behavior I spoke of was his attitude towards his teammates, GM, and the Lakers Franchise. Don’t forget he criticized management for not trading Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd. Bynum may be the key piece to this years’ title, and Kobe pretty much condemned him openly and publicly.

Basketball can be dominated by one player more than any other sport and that is what captivates you. You watch each possession and your mind is swaying from side to side on what will he do, pass or shoot?

Rare it is to see a player come into the NBA and achieve championship success at such an early stage in their careers. Occasionally we see early winning like with Magic, Larry, Duncan, & D. Wade, but those can be attributed to hall-of-fame teammates on the rosters.

Way more often we see what Michael Jordan, the Pistons, Rockets, as well as Shaq & Kobe’s Lakers deal with en route to championship glory. See LEBRON JAMES first six years!

MJ tasted defeat six year in a row before even reaching the NBA Finals, but won in his first attempt. 6 championships in 6 appearances in the Finals ensued to become THE GREATEST PLAYER OF ALL TIME. His six early exits before his first Finals in ‘90-91 were as follows: 3 straight First Round losses, a Semi-final loss & 2 straight Eastern Conference Finals loss to the Pistons.

The ‘Eighties Pistons led by Isiah Thomas had four early playoffs exits. Following those were a NBA Finals loss before winning back-to-back in 1989 & 1990. Isiah has now fallen flat in life after basketball. He has ruined the CBA, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers, & New York Knicks and now will try to do the same with FIU.

The Hakeem Olajuwon led Houston Rockets of the Mid-1990’s had much more growing to do then the two previous. He managed to reach the Finals (but lost) in his second season (with the help of Ralph Samson) only to not return until the ’94 Finals. Olajuwon lead the Rockets to back-to-back titles in 1994 & 1995.

The Shaq led Lakers at the turn of the century truly with through much defeat as well. Shaq & the Lakers lost two straight years to the Jazz, which was followed by a Semi-Final loss to Tim Duncan’s Spurs. A Three-Peat in 2000, 2001, & 2002 followed. Even when Shaq went to Miami they lost in the Eastern-Conference Finals in 7 to the Detroit Pistons, prior to a Finals Championship in 2006.

Bringing us back to where we started with Kobe Bryant’s chance to win the crown jewel of it all, the Larry O’ Brien Championship Trophy. This is how history is made, so the only question remaining is how long until Dwight Howard returns to the Finals?

Let’s hope for a great game 5 and maybe Dwight can keep the trophy out of Kobe’s hands just a couple more nights!

- Aaron

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

MLB 2009 First-Year Player Draft

Major League Baseball just conducted its first ever televised draft, here are some thoughts on the FAD. Bud "I take no blame" Selig is trying to generate interest in the MLB first year player draft, while (for years) watching the smashing success of the NFL's and the lesser NBA's be broadcasted nationwide.

Both the NBA & NFL typically see a first round pick play significant roles in their upcoming season. Compare that to a Major League draftee, who will waaaaay more often than not spend considerable time playing in the minor leagues. That means Rookie Ball all the way thru AAA.

That is the problem point blank. I DO NOT care about someone who will not make my team better instantaneously. Jake Long (pro bowl as a rookie), Dwyane Wade (game winning shot on Baron Davis in first round playoff series as rookie), and 2008 Marlins first pick Kyle Skipworth (climbed from rookie ball to A ball).

I guess Major League Baseball is televising it because they finally have a network that would consider covering it (their own MLB Network). If you want to see who your team drafted, for impact to be seen years from now...2009 MLB DRAFT TRACKER

The everyday, average baseball fan, let alone the die-hard cannot get excited over a player who most likely won't even be in the big leagues a couple seasons. Props to Good ol' Bud for trying, but all I saw today was a televised draft nobody cared about. For the record, people who love baseball can't even figure out how the draft works in its entirety. For help on that, check out this: MLB First-Year Player Draft Rules

Yea...we may see Scott Boras' Million Dollar Arm Steven Strasburg possibly in the Majors as soon as this year. That is less common than a high school player making an impact his rookie season in the NBA (Moses Malone & LeBron James, and THAT'S IT)

Given David Price, the Rays phenom left-handed pitcher; drafted 1st overall in 2007 he waited until September 14, 2008 (1 year, 3 months, 7 days) to make his debut. WooooHooooo!!!!


p.s. If it sounds like I dislike Good ol' Bud, you are quite right, because I do. Step up like a man, and apologize to the fans for not caring about the steroid issue in the sport. And you didn't do anything until CONGRESS FORCED YOU.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday @ 8pm v. 9pm

What will you be watching?

At 8pm is game 6 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals and at 9pm is game 3 of the NBA Finals.

Only 4 even-strength goals by the Penguins against the Red Wings in 5 games. I thought they had an unstoppable offense? Let's hope Pittsburg can create some better opportunities and let's see if Crosby, Malkin, Guerin, & Staal play HUGE in a elimination game. The difference between these two teams is Defense, and DEFENSE wins championships. But, Pitt won its only 2 games on their ice already, so if this series goes to a seventh game in Detroit it should be one to remember.

The Lakers feel they haven't even played their best basketball, and they won game one by 25 points. Overtime of game two was disastrous fot the Magic. I wrote that the Magic cannot win without getting Dwight the ball. Case in point, the last 8 possessions of overtime Howard touched the rock ZERO times. I don't even want to get started on Van Gundy's substitution patterns. He looks lost since Nelson's return, who looks to be playing at like 83%.

You will be able to get the first period of game 6 in before game 3 starts, so please don't pass on the fastest game on the planet. You will enjoy! And even if you do it because your friends force hockey upon you; this should be the most physical game yet, so you definitely don't want to miss a huge check that freed up Crosby for a breakaway.

- Aaron

Don't forget also at 7:10 Cardinals v. Marlins in an awesome pitching duel. Marlins ace Josh Johnson head-2-head with Cardinals ace and former Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter.
STL: Carpenter (4-0) 0.71 ERA
FLA: Johnson (5-1) 2.63 ERA

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sayin' Goodbye to Slammin' Sammy Sosa

Well, it was only a matter of time...before the only player in Major League Baseball hit 60 homers in 3 different seasons. Too bad Sammy Sosa will be remembered by most for forgetting how to speak english when on Capitol Hill and wilting away like a balloon who has lost its inflation.

It was a great ride for Sammy Sosa, who formally announced his retirement from baseball on June 4.

Steroids or HGH...we may never know, but what we do know is that he hit the ball harder, farther, and over more fences than anyone for a long period of time. Possibly the greatest portrayl of the steroid era is seen through the rise an demise of Slammin' Sammy Sosa.



WORLD HOCKEY UPDATE (game 4 of stanley cup finals was tonight) Penguins 4, Red Wings 2...Stanley Cup Finals tied 2-2


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Maybe next game...

What a battle! The Magic really went to their best player the entire game! Howard was really a force! You live and die by the 3-pointer, and tonight was murder.


Los Angeles didn't even play that well. Quickness was the key, and poor decision making was the undoing. Then, factor in the greatest player of this era who was right on point.

Just total domiation by the Lake Show.

- Aaron

2009 NBA Finals Preview

Orlando Magic v. Los Angeles Lakers

Position by Position look at the 2009 NBA Finals.

Point Guard: Derek Fisher v. Rafer Alston

Fisher has the Finals experience but Alston is the type of player that can change the complexion of at least one game.


Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant v. Courtney Lee

No comment necessary. Look for Kobe to attract the defense and get his teammates involved early and often.


Small Forward: Rashard Lewis v. Trevor Ariza

My favorite matchup of the Finals has the chance to be a real turning point for whomever shows up to play. I like Ariza’s game a lot, especially his defense, and Rashard’s stroke is smooth like butter when his shot is on.


Power Forward: Pau Gasol v. Hedo Turkoglu

Hard to look at this one straight up. Hedo is not a PF, but the Magic style of play can cause major problems for the Lakers. Hedo is the primary ball handler in the 4th Quarter so it will be interesting to see how the Lakers play it. Gasol can dominate this series so long as Dwight is not guarding him. I think the Lakers will start the game trying to get Gasol going on the low block.


Center: Dwight Howard v. Andrew Bynum

This can be a huge boost for the Lakers if Bynum can even play somewhat mediocre. Howard will elevate his game to a new level in the Finals, so Bynum will be using up all 6 fouls. I can’t wait to see Dwight’s averages when it is over; I say at least 15 boards and 4 blocks per game.


Now for the intangibles...I will take the Lakers bench because Luke Walton will play a HUGE part in the series' outcome. Jameer Nelson is a possible addition after being injured since before the All-Star break, and he could be a game changer. How can you take Van Gundy over 9 Championships in 11 Finals appearances? The Magic crowd should be rowdy in their home games, and the Lakers fans will be chaotic as always.

---I FORGOT COMPLETELY about Lamar Odom when this blog orginally posted. Let's hope Lamar Odom doesn't forget to show up, as he has in the recent past.


I will take the Lakers in 7BUT if the Magic steal one of the first 2 in L.A. that could change.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What's the Difference?

As the end of this season draws near I would like to talk a little about TEAM. It means many things on a broad-scope, but in basketball it speaks a state of play.

This came to mind when thinking about LeBron and the loss aftermath. For 66 wins the Cavs played as a team (case in point, regular season means little). The playoffs in the NBA expose you like none other. Every deficiency gets magnified ten-fold (LeBron’s supporting cast). BUT, with the right coach those deficiencies become beneficial to your team, see VIDEO.

The point I am trying to make is that no matter how great any one single player is, the worst part of a teammate’s skill set will get hung out to dry. LeBron can’t make up for everyone else, but what he can do is get them into a better spot to succeed. I liken back to everyone’s favorite comparison (Michael Jordan). The best player he ever stepped on a court with was probably Scottie Pippen, not a premiere, centerpiece, superstar-type player by any standards. He was a very-good, all-star caliber player that excelled in team play. In the season after Jordan’s initial retirement, Pippen led that Bulls team to the Eastern Conference Semifinals, losing in 7 to the Knicks, who lost in the 94 Finals to the Rockets in a memorable 7 games.

What I am trying to portray with that example is how playing well as a unit, and not 1 guy surrounded by 4 bystanders, will elevate each individuals play to a new level. It is a thing of beauty to see the frantic scrambling of defenses trying to make their rotations out to the perimeter. That is of course if you even understand what a defensive rotation entails in the game of basketball. It is a game where one player can make all the difference or be the beginning of a 48 minute struggle (see Dwyane Wade).

Overall it comes down to individual matchups predicated on team play. That is where the Magic came to dominate the Cavs. Cleveland does need better players around LeBron, but where did there #1 ranked defense go? The Magic scored nearly 104 ppg in the 6 game series, after only allowing 91.4 during the regular season, and 78 ppg in the FIRST TWO ROUNDS COMBINED. Cleveland’s loss was just as much about Orlando’s ability to expose Lebron’s supporting cast as it was their lack of defensive commitment.

I guess it comes down to the dominant big man theory.

NBA Finals Preview to follow.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009


There must be something in the air. Actually, there is must be the sport of hockey on its way towards mainstream. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are winding down as a Finals rematch looms on the horizon. With unheralded amounts of of suspense and despiration that other sports would kill for (MLB), hockey talk will surely spark your interest in a sport worth your attention.

Introducing Jeffrey Alterman as guest columnist on his favorite sport. Hockey is back, and he wants you to know it!

Most hockey fans already understand the presence of the mysterious deities known as the Hockey Gods. Each and every October they awaken from their long summer slumber to watch over the new season that will begin and last until April. This year, they have granted us an unbelievable six weeks of playoff hockey; filled with physical play, high-scoring tilts and certainly no lack of superstar players. As a hockey fan, casual or not, you have to have been interested and excited in the thrilling semifinal series that pitted the league’s two biggest superstars, Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, against each other for the first time on a grand stage. When the series started, many hockey pundits believed that that series would have the power to propel the NHL back to where it once stood before the crippling lock out of 2005. The series lived up to the hype but has not catapulted the NHL into mainstream prominence.

Since the lockout, there have been a plethora of articles written by national columnists from ESPN, The New York Times and Sports Illustrated demonstrating what it is exactly that is preventing hockey from catching on as more than just a “niche” sport in our country. They talk of a lack of superstars that Americans care about, a low-scoring game without much excitement, and that without the advent of HDTV, the NHL would still be floundering for life and viewers that could find the puck. Instead of addressing the problems with the league (and, yes, there are some!), they just rehash over and over again why the NHL will never be mainstream. So instead of doing just that, I am aiming to show why you SHOULD be watching hockey instead of why you should NOT be.

For the first time in decades, the NHL has an exceptional amount of talent in young players destined to be enshrined in Toronto’s Hockey Hall of Fame. Players like Crosby and Ovechkin don’t come around very often and in this era the league can stake its claim to at least five players that should be able to command the same kind of star power that a Dwyane Wade or Kobe Bryant can. Perhaps the most world-famous, Sidney Crosby isn’t even the leading scorer on his team, no less the league. That title is claimed by his teammate Evgeni Malkin, another young superstar just entering his prime after scoring SIX multi-point games in a row in this year’s playoffs. True, we will never be able to describe Patrick Kane’s third goal in his series clinching win over Vancouver like we will LeBron James’ three-pointer to beat the Magic; but, since when are sports all about what’s written the day after? If you were watching that Canucks-Blackhawks game previously referred to, you can still see Kane sliding the puck between the defender’s legs and right through the Canucks All-Star Goaltender Roberto Luongo to effectively seal Chicago’s first trip to the Western Conference Finals in 15 years.

Another thing separating the NHL from the rest of the leagues is its parity. Other leagues claim they are filled with competitive balance and that on “any given day” any team can win. Is that true, why does every NFL Preseason prediction feature the same two teams from each conference as Super Bowl contenders? It seems that the same four or five teams are vying for championships each season. The NBA has had only 7 different teams win a championship since 1980. The NHL has had 14 different champions in the same time and no repeat winner this decade. Detroit seems ready to change that this year, but they must first get through to the Finals and then beat an exceptionally talented Pittsburgh team. Every October you can truly begin the season with unhindered hope that this year could be yours. In the Sports Illustrated 2003 NHL Preview issue it predicted the Tampa Bay Lightning would finish last in their conference. Where did they end up, only as Stanley Cup Champions! In another example of the NHL competitive balance, since 1994 we have seen more than one-third of the series featuring the 1 v. 8 and 2 v. 7 seeds ending with the lower seed advancing.

Let’s look further into the rise of the Chicago Blackhawks as a parallel to the league’s supposed upswing in popularity. When the ‘Hawks started the season this year, they were filled with promise and excitement. A new owner had taken the team in a new direction, opened up communication with fans and got the team back on local TV. They knew what they were working with in their young stars and promising play and pulled out all the stops to make themselves known in a crowded Chicago sports market. Owner Rocky Wirtz even brought the team out on a red carpet to open the season. It has paid enormous dividends, as they've gone from 3,400 season-ticket holders in 2007 to 14,000 currently, a waiting list for 2009-10 and a berth in the Western Conference Finals. Clearly they are a team on the rise. They have not one, but two young superstars that will keep the team relevant for years as they try for their first Cup in over 40 years.

The league needs to capitalize on what makes it so intriguing. Beyond the current stars, there are plenty past greats that are still involved with various franchises as coaches and management. Other Hall of Famers should be brought in to be analyst’s for games or even NBC’s studio show. Who wouldn’t want to watch Mark Messier talking about the game he played so greatly? It needs to loosen up the penalty calls so the elite players can show off what makes them special and it needs to do a better job of promoting itself and its stars. People want to see the fighters fight and the scorers score. But most importantly, it needs to do whatever it can to get itself back on true national TV. Versus just won’t cut it if you want to make it to the big time. Maybe the league could take a few hints from the Blackhawks. On the cusp of extinction, the Hawks "were in a situation where we had to try everything." The NHL shouldn't be afraid of doing the same.

P.S.—This is all coming from a Florida Panthers fan. Talk about desperation, we haven’t made the Playoffs in NINE years yet every season starts fresh with hope that the Year of the Rat might happen once again.

I hope you have enjoyed.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Terrible To WHOM???

It has come to my attention that I may have a terrible outro line. I personally have to disagree. What do my loyal followers have to say about it? Probably nothing, because the readers of this blog are scarce. But needless to say one reader decided to offer his esteemed opinion, not to mention done so under the alias of ANONYMOUS. I have an idea of whom this could be, and with that said a challenge is sought. Under BRO Rules when a random rating is given, it must follow two criteria; Honest & Constructive Criticism as well as It must be given during your turn in the rotation. Tying that into the below comment by ANONYMOUS--next time don't hide behind a no-name.
Anonymous said...

terrible outro line ronski, terrible

Peace, for now until later.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Rashard Lewis: The Magic's Next Level

Some thoughts came to mind a few hours before game 2 of the Magic-Cavs series...

In order for the Magic to pull through in this series, consistent play out of Rashard Lewis is absolutely a must. This team cannot go anywhere unless Rashard is scoring 20 points a game. Lewis is the key, because of his silky-smooth stroke and ability to knock down clutch free-throws. His game is mostly from the outside, mainly beyond the arc.

That is the problem with Rashard. He has the ability to put the ball on the floor and drive to the hole as well as post up on the block, but more often than not he chooses to settle for the outside jumper. The Magic need his all around game in this Conference Finals if they expect to get by the Lebron-led Cavs. For the Magic's sake I hope Coach Stan Van Gundy realizes Lewis' contributions can get his team to the next level.

Peace, for now until later.


Monday, May 18, 2009

NBA Draft & the 1 Year Rule

The NBA instituted its rule for players entering the NBA Draft in 2006. The rule states that any player entering the draft must be at least one year removed from High School. The way this is intended to work facilitates a better player entering the league, and in turn making the NBA a far better product.

It is in my opinion that the NBA has exponentially benefited from this rule, and it is no wonder why Commissioner David Stern looks to extend it a second year. Examples of players who chose to skip college and choose the riches of a pro basketball career.....Moses Malone, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, & Dwight Howard.

Those guys are the exception.

More often than not it was a guy like Dorell Wright, Sebastian Telfair, Jonathan Bender, Kwame Brown (#1 Overall choice 2001). These guys have taken years to achieve the status of NBA bench warmer or even better journeyman. That is sarcasm for those who are somewhat slow. The NBA product of the later 1990's and early 2000's had been turned into a free for all, in a baseball like draft of prospects instead of professional ready players.

The list of NBA flops is far greater than those who have become serviceable NBA talent.

Let's just hope that the one-and-done college mentality of players turn into an appreciation for the total package college has to offer. The latest and greatest example being the Gator Boys back-2-back national titles in 2006-2007. That is some bragging on my part, but you cannot deny the love these guys had for Gainesville and the University of Florida.
Granted three of these 5 guys have yet to make an impact in the NBA, but at least they didn't miss out on what only college students will be able to tell their grandchildren about.

Peace for now, until later.

New: Added 8/24/09 @ 11:30pm
Michael Beasley really exemplified this issue here. One year of college DID NOTHING. He still has to make personal life choices which could be the difference between the guys who make it, and those who don't. J.A. Adande's article is a great read on this issue and more...

- Aaron

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Welcome Back

Hello to all.

I am back from somewhat of a hiatus, and I am here to return my flavor which is what you love.

To those who know me, it is like a return trip to Chat-Hut following a tough semester and the pleasure that ensues.

To those who don't, it is like orgasm after a a dry spell!

My flavor is that of blunt opinion and making no excuses.

Thank you to all.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wayne Ellington (22) takes the Most Oustanding Player Award

FROM What's Been on My Mind (March 30 Post)
SO...we have made it to the Final Four. UCONN, UNC, Villanova, and Michigan St...That means I will pick UNC to win the 2009 NCAA Championship, Roy Williams' second with the Tar Heels.

I am not normally one to boast about my accomplishments, but you gotta give it to me on this one. Who else do you know had Ellington winning M.O.P.? I just have a knack for things like this. I'll come out with some MLB Predictions after this week is through. Ellington took the award with great shooting, especially from beyond the arc.

Final Four Most Outstanding Players
YearPlayerTeamKey stats
2009Wayne EllingtonNorth Carolina39 points, 14-26 FG, 8-10 3-pt FG

Saturday, April 4, 2009

EXCUSES, for why there is no ANSWER (Iverson).

Some possible reasons Allen Iverson will not be heard from the rest of this season...
  • I am better than coming off the bench.
  • I have earned starting position on ANY team.
  • The Pistons and Grizzlies are a better without me.
  • I have lost a step.
  • Reebok is not as good a sponsor as Nike, Jordan, Adidas, or Converse.
  • I cannot fall down 7 times anymore, and then stand up 8.
  • My back hurts.
  • Terrell Owens and I are best friends.
Let me first say that Allen Iverson is one of my favorite players of All-Time. It is my ungrateful position to say that I have lost some respect for pound-for-pound the toughest, grittiest, and most fearless players in NBA League History. When AI was at his best, there never was, there is not currently, and there never will be another player like THE ANSWER.

When it comes to being a CHAMPION, you must do whatever you can for the best interest of the TEAM, not you. Allen Iverson has more talent in his left pinky than most people have in their entire bodies, so his feelings are understood. This is not to say that he should have no qualms about his time in Detroit, but if Allen was all about WINNING then coming off the bench would not be an issue. Iverson definitely wants a ring, but I do not think he understands how to reach this goal.

I believe that if he chooses to, Iverson, can become the best 6th man in the NBA and be an unstoppable backup point guard. Yes, I said BACKUP POINT GUARD. Allen Iverson can see the floor as good as anyone who ever played the game. He has the ball handling, decision making, and passing skills needed to excel at the position.

Given this information, if Mr. Iverson wanted to continue playing basketball at a high level, a transformation of HIS GAME needs to take place. His veteran presence, killer instinct, and will to win can be unmatched. He must accept that he is not the same player that we all grew to love, and that his value is far greater playing a different role. He cannot be the number one option anymore. I would take Iverson for 20-30 minutes a game any day, especially playing against another teams' bench players. Can you imagine him playing against backups on a nightly basis? It wouldn't even be fair to the other team.

That is where the problem comes in. Allen has been ball dominate his entire life, and it is the only way he knows to play. A player with his pride and accomplishments cannot make this transition easily, but it definitely can be done (e.g. Kareem, Payton, & Garnett). At some point you must realize that your skills have diminished, quickness has slipped, 40 min per game is not attainable, and YES, time came to change your hairstyle from cornrows. If Iverson can grow out of the cornrows, he can grow out of that individual way of playing ball.

I hope that Allen Iverson chooses the right path from this season forward so we get to see him play for years to come. If he follows my recommendation, years can be extended to his career, and for his sake rings can be won. It will take convincing from the few people Iverson trusts in his life, and I am definitely not one of those. I am just a huge fan, who wants to see one of his favorites win a ring and play for like 5 more years.

Peace, for now until later.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

2009 Major League Baseball Preview

It is maybe my favorite time of year in sport because Spring is upon us and the hope of all teams is alive to make the MLB Playoffs--only 6 month away!! There might be nothing better in sports than being able to end your day with a baseball game, and in my case 95% of the time it is at 7:05 pm.

Let's begin with a quick recap of last year...Phillies won World Series over upstart Tampa Bay Rays. OK, now onto this year. Here is a division by division preview, followed by my predictions for this year.

NL East
  • Phillies bolster lineup with Raul Ibanez, but spring scare with Cole Hamels' elbow, Philly fans hold breath it doesn't flare up again.
  • Braves add some starting pitching, look to come back with a healthy offense, will be much improved.
  • Marlins have top staff in division, look for young players to make a huge impact (Maybin, Bonifacio, & Sanchez).
  • Mets try to justify their huge payroll, starting pitching questions, and two consecutive chokes at the end of season look to rebound.
  • Nationals tried to make a splash with Teixeira.
AL East
  • Red Sox hope for a healthy Ortiz, and sleeper free agent signing Brad Penny makes them a favorite.
  • Yankees will look to C.C. and A.J. to help the pitching but age may catch up with the rest of team.
  • Rays try to match last year's magic, the future looks bright, but everyone else improved.
  • Orioles have a great young OF-Nick Markakis and it seems they are finally headed in the right direction.
  • Blue Jays will struggle but Roy Halladay is the BEST PITCHER in baseball.
NL Central
  • Cubs have not done much, but Milton Bradley will help a lot. The pitching looks strong, Kevin Gregg will probably be involved in waaay to many decisions for a closer.
  • Cardinals like their chances basically because of 2 people-La Russa & Pujols. Their pitching looks to get healthy with the return of Ace Chris Carpenter.
  • Astros seem to always be around and look for more of the same this year. A lot of guys born in the 70's means a breakdown by end of year is possible.
  • Brewers will fall back to the pack this year with an unhealthy Ben Sheet and no Sabathia. Offense will put up huge numbers, but can they score more than their opponent everyday?
  • Reds could be a surprise, look for Brandon Phillips to be recognized nationally, and Edinson Volquez has absolutely nasty stuff.
  • Pirates have a couple good players, Ryan Doumit could be an all-star catcher.
AL Central
  • White Sox have suspect pitching, and aging hitting.
  • Indians will try to rebound after a disappointing 2008, and life after C.C. is in its first full year. They could make a run at the division title, hoping for a healthy Travis Hafner.
  • Tigers could hit a lot of homers, and Miguel Cabrera just keeps on chugging.
  • Royals fans could have something to cheer about this year, and its been a long time coming. I mean cheering in August, September could be possible.
  • Twins are a classy organizations and are always competitive. I don't expect anything different this year. Liriano is a stud who is a Cy Young Candidate.
NL West
  • Dodgers hope Manny can lift them to playoffs again.
  • D-Backs are young but they have some great starting pitching and should be in a lot of games.
  • Rockies will struggle this year 2 years removed from a World Series appearance.
  • Padres need to get rid of Peavy in order to move forward as a franchise, and it should be a loooong year.
  • Giants have a horse in Tim Lincecum, and this will be a fun team to watch. Good starting pitching will keep them around for a while.
AL West
  • Angels have a great lineup but the loss of K-Rod and some other pitching questions will test the teams front office.
  • Athletics are always a tough game and that will continue. They look to make the playoffs again with a new crop of young starting pitching and try to find magic in a bottle with the return of Jason Giambi.
  • Mariners have one of my favorite players in Ichiro, but that's about it.
  • Rangers have Josh Hamilton who is probably the greatest story in sports history.
NL- Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, Wild Card-Florida Marlins
AL- Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Oakland Athletics, Wild Card- New York Yankees

World Series Winner- Chicago Cubs

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Heat vs. Mavericks

I am very happy and upset with the loss...the article written earlier today by Ira talked exactly about what I saw (or attempted by the Heat). We saw Coach Spo play his BEST LINEUP nearly most of the 4th Quarter. Wade, Chalmers, Cook, Beasley, Haslem. He gave the rook's a chance to play big and in my opinion they did. We nearly pulled through against a good team, and a really tough home-court advantage for the Mavs. I hope this is how we will end all the games from now on.

We must do whatever we can to maintain the 5th Seed or it will be an early exit for this years' Heat team.

Chalmers made the last play based on INSTINCT, which is indicitive of allowing a player to grow up, so he PLAYING instead of thinking (what would coach want). I personally am OK with what he did, and I do believe it was a phantom charge call.

Beasley hit two key free throws, after missing two key free throws. I like seeing him get to the line late though, very encouraging. Beasley got the chance to score on 3 consecutive posessions. Missed long 2pt shot, Turnover, and drive to basket (2 free throw). WRONG ORDER MICHAEL. Start with the drive, then take the shot if you are given the open space.

So Philly, by virture of playing 2 less games has overtaken the 5th Seed. Let's hope for a loss by them tomorrow against the Bucks. And followed by a Heat win Friday in Charlotte, who always plays us tough.

Peace, for now until later.


The Herd's Breakfast Bracket

The Herd's Breakfast Bracket

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Great stuff...

Monday, March 30, 2009

What's been on my mind....

It has been some time since my last post, but for good reason. The crux of Spring Semester '09 began to impose its will on me again since returning from spring break. I have found some downtime between school, work, and studying(among various other activities) to voice my ever growing opinion on any topic in sport.

Today is a great day for me. I should, barring the Orlando Magic TV or NBA League Pass Broadband not showing it, be able to see the retirement of Alonzo Mourning's #33 for the Miami Heat. He is the first player to receive this honor from the Miami Heat, and it is truly significant because Mr. Mourning transcends basketball. Pick your choice of articles from the South Florida newspapers, all writers do a fabulous job.
Watch the Retirement Announcement


ZO dominates the MAVS
NBA on TNT speaks on his retirement

SO...we have made it to the Final Four. UCONN, UNC, Villanova, and Michigan St. I got 3 of 4, but who didn't? Sam Young won't win M.O.P. But I'll take Wayne Ellington instead any day. That means I will pick UNC to win the 2009 NCAA Championship, Roy Williams' second with the Tar Heels.

Major League baseball is going to be underway in just a couple of days, and Oh Boy I cannot wait!!! 6 months of games and only a few days off. I am ready to watch my Marlins compete for the NL East crown, as well as the Wild Card. I believe our starting pitching will be good, opening wiht a 1-2 punch of Nolasco and Johnson. The bats will probably be up-and-down, but Hanley will always be around. I will discuss the season in greater length in a later posting...

Does anyone notice the Stanley Cup Playoffs are fastly approaching. Well I am surrounded by huge hockey fans, and I can't seem to enjoy the sport unless more than 3 people are watching together. Let's hope for the Panthers to end their looooooong drought.

And can't you just not get enough of Tebow and Urban on ESPN.

Peace, for now until later.


New York Times