Thursday, July 16, 2009

STOLEN DREAMS - Cities that deserve their sports team back

In 1 minute and 43 seconds David Stern gave Seattle fans hope; hope that Seattle will once again have an NBA team. Steve Kelley, a writer for the Seattle Times, put Stern on the spot about a future team in Seattle. A new franchise in Seattle can only be a positive step for the league. Seattle is a great place for the NBA and I am not just saying that because I live in Seattle. I don't wish to rehash the horrible past few years that Seattle fans have had to endure but by golly they deserve an NBA team. Seattle fans have rights and deserve what every other tax paying fan has; the opportunity to:

1. Pay $8 for a beer
2. Yell at incompetent officials
3. Watch great athletes take an extra step or two
4. Enjoy the halftime dance teams gyrating and grinding.
5. Sit through 14 (at least 7 per team) timeouts in the last 2 minutes of a close game
6. Toil over another loss
7. Sell their end season tickets for 1/2 price on the Stub Hub
8. Witness their team tank the last 10 home games to improve their draft

So bring back the Sonics or Light Rails or whatever you want to call them and give Seattle fans a chance to be fans again.

Top 5 Cities That Deserve Their Team Back (a historical look)

1. Brooklyn (MLB)
The 1958 move to L.A., just 3 years past a World Series title in Brooklyn makes this move hard to swallow. Brooklyn's history is amazing and the city was instrumental in the development of the National Past time. They began play in 1890 where they won a pennant in their first year. 9 World Series appearances, Jackie Robinson and over 50 years of history, what else do you need to know.

2. Seattle (NBA)
The way that Seattle lost its NBA franchise to Oklahoma City was unfortunate. With emails, promises and lies the NBA lost one of the northwest's best team. The Sonics 1979 championship put Seattle on the professional sports map for the first time.

3. Houston (NFL)
The 1997 move to Memphis was not really a success and poor attendance made the Oilers have to play games in a college stadium. Bring back the memories of Earl Campbell, "Luv Ya Blue" and Bum Phillips with a return to Houston.

4. Los Angeles (NFL)
No city should have to watch its storied franchise wallow in mediocrity like L.A. has had to do with the 1995 move to St. Louis. The NFL needs a team in Los Angeles.

5. Montreal/Vancouver or any other Canadian city (MLB, NBA)
We need to be nice to our northern neighbors and I would love to see the old Expo hat make a comeback.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

MY MISTAKE, PUJOLS NO TED WILLIAMS - but history does repeat itself

So Ted William's All-Star game record will live for a another year as Albert Pujols let history down by going 0 for 3 with an error (ouch). The good news is that I was 5 for 6 on my historical predictions:

1. The game finished 4-3 keeping with the trend of All-star games being close.

2. The American League won AGAIN.

3. A total of 16 pitchers were used and only 2 pitchers threw more than an inning.

4. Many players were snubbing especially since the rosters were expanded (the most notable to me was the 42 year old Tim would think they would give the oldest player since Satchel Paige a chance to play in his last All-Star game)

5. Ratings must have sucked...I didn't watch the game, did you? (note: it was the shortest All-Star game since 1988 thank goodness)

So what we have learned? Well that the All-Star game is very predictable based off history and that Pujols is no Ted Williams.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

PUJOLS; JUST THE MAN TO DO IT - Ted William's All-Star game performance in jeopardy

So what can we expect from this years MLB All-Star Game? Based on history, we can expect the following:

1. A close game
47 All-Star games have been decided by 2 runs or less.

2. Many pitchers
The average number of innings for an All-Star pitcher is about 1.5

3. An American League Victory
The American League has won 17 of the last 21 games

4. A quality player will be snubbed
Difficult to get over 60 players in the game in only 9 innings

5. Ratings will suck
Ratings have decreased rapidly since the 80's and nobody cares anyway.

and last but not least we will see Albert Pujols have the best All-Star game ever. Yeah that's right, I am predicting a record breaking evening by the best player in the majors. Why would I be so bold, well that is easy because history repeats itself. Albert Pujols is having a year very reminiscent of the year Ted Williams had in 1946. Ted Williams performance in the 46' All-Star game ranks as the best single game output ever.

Here is William's stat line that day: 4 for 4 with 5 RBIs, 4 runs and 2 home runs

Pujols will have a performance similar if history has anything to it. Lets compare the two players and see the similarities.

1946 Ted Williams (Season Stats)

BA: .342
OBP: .497
SLG: .667
OPS: 1.164
HR: 38

Williams led the lead American League in RUNS, BB, OBP, SLG, TB and was 2nd in home runs.

2009 Albert Pujols (Up to All-Star Break)
BA: .332
OBP: .456
SLG: .723
OPS: 1.179
HR: 32

Pujols leads the National League in RUNS, BB, OBP, SLG, TB and is 1st in home runs.

History will repeat itself tonight and Albert Pujols will be in All-Star game record book. You heard it hear first (though I have been known to be wrong).

Monday, July 13, 2009

THE WAR TO END ALL WARS - Hagler vs Hearns 1985

You gotta love late night TV. Last night I was treated to something very special that should never be forgotten. ESPN Classic was discussing the greatest boxing match ever: The 1985 Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler fight. "The War" as it was called only went 3 rounds but provided more entertainment then any boxing or UFC match you will ever see these days.

This middleweight bout was an all out war as these two warriors went at each other from the first bell. There was even bad blood between these two before the fight even began as Hearns, who is 6'1 called the 5'9 Hagler a "midget". Hagler quickly responded by calling Hearns a "freak" and claiming he would be "a giant in the ring". After listening to Hearn's corner man on ESPN Classic, I got the feeling that Hagler (because he was southpaw) may have been a bad match up for Hearns who would finish his career 61-5. But that didn't stop Tommy from going toe to toe with the champ for 3 straight rounds in this thriller. If you like to watch jabs being thrown or if you like to watch a wrestling match then this fight isn't for you. Hearns and Hagler will go down in my book as the best 3 rounds of boxing of all-time.

5 Reason Why "The War" Was The Greatest Fight Of All-Time

1. Toughness
Hearns fights the whole fight with a broken hand.

2. Champions
This was the battle of 2 great champions. Hagler was 60-2-2 (50 KO), Hearns was 40-1 (33 KO) and both held belts.

3. Blood
In the 1st round, Hagler is bloodied from a cut on the forehead but forges on, knocking Hearns down.
Hagler was bloodied so badly that the referee stopped the fight in the 3rd round so that the ring doctor could check his cut.

4. Short but Sweet
Earned Ring Magazine Honors for Fight of Year but lasted only 3 rounds (only 2 other fights that have won the honor have gone fewer rounds). The 1st round was one of the greatest rounds ever with over

5. Determination
Hearns is knocked down in the 3rd and somehow gets up at the count of 9 only to have the fight stopped by the referee.