Monthly Archives: June 2014

Sports Blog 6-26

Lincecum

Tim Lincecum

You got to feel good for Tim Lincecum. Once the most dominant pitcher in baseball. Then he turned down a mega contract from the Giants because he didn’t feel comfortable playing with that burden or something like that. He then falls off to just a better than average pitcher. Now he does not play for chump change. Yesterday he pitched his second career no hitter. He is still a Giant. As Giant fans and fantasy baseball nuts like me know consistency has been a huge problem for Lincecum. He would pitch great then the next time out he would walk a ton of batters and struggle. There is no explanation. There was no major injury or any injury that we know about. Outside of a little marijuana use he has been a good guy. He has now joined a very exclusive club as one of two pitchers to have 2 cy young awards, 2 world series rings and now 2 no hitters. The other Sandy Koufax.

pope

Mike Francesa

I was listening to the Mike Francesa radio show when the news broke that Tim Lincecum was pitching a no hitter. So Mike points out that there should be an asterisk because the Padres are a weak hitting team. Oh yeah. When David Wells pitched his perfect game against the Twins in 1998 here was their starting lineup :Matt Kawton, Brent Gates, Paul Molitor, Marty Cordova, Ron Coomer, Alex Ochoa, Jon Shave, Javier Valentin & Pat Meares. Molitor aside there wasn’t much in that lineup either. Mike maybe we should go back and look at every no hitter and perfect game and decide which ones were legit or not.

d bryan

Celebration

For those who don’t watch Wrestling and like to just dismiss it as cheap and unworthy of recognition all you need to do is look at the footage from the locker room after Tim Lincecum pitched a no hitter. He pointing his arms and finger in the air yelling yes. The whole locker room did it. That celebration is what Daniel Bryan does. Bryan is a professional wrestling who is the hottest thing going now. All these players in the 4 major sports watch wrestling. A lot of them like to get involved whether as a guest or actually wrestling a match. The late Ultimate Warrior said it best in his hall of fame speech. “Wrestlers don’t wear sports jerseys. But sport stars wear out t shirts and use our catch phrases.” That is the absolute truth. Even though wrestling is staged entertainment it’s real and loved by many. WWE pay per views can sell out any arena in the world in one day. And that’s the truth.

nba

Clearing Salary

The new fad in the NBA is to clear enough cap space to lure King James to your team. The Rockets are doing it. The Lakers are doing it. The Knicks, Hawks, Bulls etc are all doing it. The Heat his current team are also looking to pay players less to keep James and add more pieces. To be fair Carmelo Anthony is also in this mix as well. But no mistake the King is the ultimate prize. The best player in the world can’t win by himself. Lebron is 2-3 lifetime in the NBA Finals. The year he got the Cavs there he single handle carried his team through the weak Eastern Conference to get smoked in the finals by the Spurs. His 2 losses with the Heat to the Mavericks and Spurs were lost to teams who had many contributors. Sure he has the Big Three and not much else. This past series it was back to the one man show again.

Sports Blog 6-25

AROD

GOT AROD

Yankee fans do you miss AROD yet? Before you say no just look at the offense or lack of offense in your infield. The only player hitting is Tex and he can’t seem to stay in the lineup. Plus Solarte is not better defensively than AROD. Not to mention that band wagon has come crashing doen now. Be careful what you wish for. I know AROD brings a lot of drama but he still would be a presence in that lineup. I never believed like most Yankee fans do that he will never play another game for the Yankees. He is needed in your lineup. And the loss of Cano is really starting to show up. I was not a fan of their off season moves signing Ellsbury, Beltran and McCann. I thought it would be ok for 2 years then it would turn into a disaster. Let’s face it this team is in serious trouble and now a days you can’t buy your way out of trouble and no one is going to trade big players to the Yankees again. So I don’t think the Yankees will make the playoffs in Jeter’s farewell season.

Jeter

Derek Jeter

On the subject of Jeter. I am tired of hearing that Jeter has to start the all-star game because it is his last season even though he clearly does not deserve to be on the team. I know this is all a popularity contest. But we all know this would not be the first time Jeter would be starting the all-star game when he did not deserve it. The All Star Game should celebrate the greatest players at their positions for that season. Jeter looks old and slow and now he is starting to make mental mistakes. I hate to beat a dead horse but for the man who said he didn’t want a big deal made out of his final season should have played the season out and announced his retirement after the season.

Yanks

Yankee Trades

It is comical to me hearing Yankee fans call local radio stations saying we have to go out and get this guy and get that guy while not offering anything in a trade. We have to get Altuve said one caller. The Yankees don’t have the pieces to get him or Hammel and the Shark from the Cubs. How about we start with Betances and much more. Oh we can’t do that. Yankee fans long gone are the days when teams trade you star players for nothing. Try to develop a player on your own. It does work for other teams.

Lebron

 

No Lebron For You

Knick fans you are not getting LeBron James. So please stop trying to figure out how to get him under the cap with Melo. Craig Carton shut up. This is not going to happen. Do you think your smarter than everyone else to come up with that idea with Stoudemire and Bargnani. Stop slapping yourself in the back you front running fair weathered fan. I don’t know where Lebron is going but it won’t be to the Knicks. Pinhead your idea still keeps 2 bad players on the team. The cap problem is one thing. But the bad players are another one.

Bite

Officiating Is Bad Everywhere

I have really gotten into the World Cup. And after watching games and seeing highlights I come to the conclusion that officiating is bad in all the major sports as well as the World Cup right down to my coed softball games. How hard is it to do this especially when some of this stuff is so blatant. This guy on Uruguay bites a player on the Italian team and gets no penalty. Uruguay goes on to score a minute later. I don’t know if that is related or not. Then we find out this guy has done this before. And he is still allowed to play. Sure FIFA wants to suspend him now. So now I know Soccer or Futbol is just like any other American sport.

Money In The Bank Preview

Even though it’s Wednesday and the card may change here is my predictions for the Money In The Bank Pay Per View. In fact upon writing this I see that a tag team match was added. Golddust and Stardust vs Ryback and Axel. I could care less about this match really so all I can say is that Goldie and Star will win. Now onto the real card.

Divas Title Paige Vs Naomi.  I actually felt that Naomi would have defeated AJ Lee before she hurt her eye.  I don’t know where Paige came from but she has proven to be a great women’s wrestler.  Better than most of the girls in the back.  Naomi is destined to be the champion but I think this is set up for her soon to be former partner Cameron to cost her the title leading to a feud to be played out on WWE TV and also the E TV series Total Divas. Surely in a feud between Naomi and Cameron, Cameron will get a pin fall or two. Cameron is not a good wrestler and can’t be champion. I think this match will be very good with the top two female wrestlers facing off. Naomi’s time is coming real soon just not now.

Prediction Paige hangs onto the title via interference by Cameron

Tag Team Championship Match USO’s vs the Wyatt’s. On paper this is a huge mismatch. Harper and Rowen have greatly improved in the ring. So have the USO’s who have grown on me. I never thought they were championship material. I was wrong about that. This one is a hard one to predict. Perhaps if we knew the future plans for the Wyatt’s this would be easier. It has never been about wins and losses for them just getting Brey’s message out there is what they care about more. Perhaps giving the straps to the Wyatt’s develops them a little more as their own characters. USO’s have been great fighting champions taking on all teams. But the tag team ranks is pretty bare right now.

Prediction The Wyatt’s get the gold.

Money In The Bank Ladder Match For WWE Heavyweight Champion. These matches are impossible to predict. WWE can go in many different ways here plus extend feuds and create new ones. I do expect the winner of this match to have the title for Summer Slam. So I guess it depends on what matches do we expect for Summer Slam. I can say Reigns will face either Orton or HHH. Let’s not forget that Brock Lesnar is scheduled to be on the card so who he is expected to wrestle could impact this match. It would have to be a high impact player. And let’s not forget the Daniel Bryan factor. Assuming he is ready to go by Summer Slam isn’t he due a rematch? And what kind of bumps can he take. So let’s go one by one for all 8 competitors.

Kane. I don’t see Kane winning at all. While I am not opposed to seeing Kane have one more title reign I just think he is in this match to make sure Roman Reigns or John Cena win the belt. And perhaps assist Randy Orton. He is still following the authorities orders. Also will he pick up his feud with Daniel Bryan once he returns from his injury? As

Sheamus. He deserves to be in this match as he is on the heavy weight level. The current United States Champion already has a belt. I don’t see him winning this match. But he is HHH’s boy so that certainly explains why he is in this match. Still Sheamus is a top guy and deserves to be on this level.

Alberto Del Rio. A lot of people don’t like him. I think he is a great heel. I also think he is one of the better workers in this match. He can slug it out with the heavy weights as well as wrestle with the technical wrestlers on the roster. Not many can say they can thrive in either realm. Del Rio is no mid carder. I don’t see him winning this match though. The only reason he could win is that some of the other competitors in this match may be involved with feuds like Reigns/Orton. He would be a relatively safe choice because he has been there before and can just be a place holder for Bryan when he returns.

Roman Reigns. Ok I just mentioned Reigns. The clear people’s choice to win and definitely a champion in waiting. To further his character he has to eventually win the strap. But he has not had many singles matches. Can he carry a main event match as champion for 15 plus minutes? His arsenal of moves is very limited. Although he has improved he still needs to get better mic skills. The breakup of the shield was necessary. Unlike the Wyatt’s who can stay together forever the Shield need to break up. Reigns is clearly focusing on Orton and HHH. When these two finally meet one on one it is main event material strap or no strap. Orton will carry that match and for that reason I don’t see Reigns winning this match.

Randy Orton. Anytime Orton gets another title run it is not surprising. The pure total package as he can wrestle and brawl and give great promos. He clearly will be feuding with Reigns throughout the Summer. In fact the other MIB match will autom,atically tell you if Orton won’t win. If Seth Rollins wins then we know Orton would be a long shot to win. While Rollins is not part of Evolution he is clearly a HHH guy and I can’t see a match with those two at least right now.

Brey Wyatt. My love for this character is not based on wins or losses but how he acts, his tremendous promos and the heat he brings to his character. Wins or Losses don’t mean much to this superstar. The reaction he gets from the crowd and the psychology he brings to his character and his matches make him a truly unique competitor. Putting the title on him would clearly turn the WWE upside down. What would it mean? Would his feud with Cena continue around the title?

Cesaro. Clearly the one wildcard in this match. His in ring ability makes him very worthy of holding the title. But the fact that Heyman is his microphone makes me think twice about this. We haven’t had a WWE champion who needed a manager to speak for him in a long time. I know CM Punk had Paul Heyman but did he really need him. WWE could really head in another direction and give Cesaro the strap. It would show the boys in the back that they are willing to push new people.

John Cena. The real face of the franchise. So any time Cens gets a title run should not be a shock to anyone. My question is what are the plans for Cena. If he is truly done with Wyatt where is his next feud? Giving Cena another title run would be boring and unnecessary. He does not need to have the strap to be a main eventer. Much like Orton.

Prediction. I would love to see Cesaro win this match and Heyman is a master of running with these moments like a little brother who just beat big brother. I suppose we can get a run in with either Bryan screwing Orton or the Wyatt’s helping Brey or preventing Cena to continue that feud. Or HHH screwing Reigns or Cena. I still always hold out hope that Shane O Mac returns to take back his part of the company. I am going to go with Cesaro. Mainly because Orton/Reigns will feud as well as Cena/Wyatt will continue their feud. Neither has anything to do with the titles and while Cena/Wyatt have had several Pay Per View matches Orton/Reigns is ultimately heading for a one on one match.

Money In The Bank Match For A Title Shot. This one is different because your not asking any of these to carry the strap. It is just for a title shot maybe the next day on Raw or Smackdown. Or maybe it will be cashed in that night and in that case the winner of this match will have to carry thunder for that moment. In fact Wade Barrett suffer a separated shoulder which could and probably will knock him out of this match and that leaves only 6 participants in this match. I was curious when only 7 were announced. Now there is 6. Barrett can’t realistically participate in this match. So by my estimation there is 2 spots left. One was just not announced. The other is an injury replacement. I am going to guess that Rusev gets one spot. The other could be Big E or a NXT guy like Adam Rose or Bo Dallas. Until we know I can only talk about the 6 announced superstars and Wade Barrett who I feel will get replaced.

Dolph Ziggler. Great worker and over with the fans. Just has the perception of being injury prone with concussions. Would be nice to see him get a title shot but ultimately I don’t see it.

Kofi Kingston. Just a filler but he will provide great spots in this match. Ask yourself if you will be excited to see him get a title shot. If no then you got your answer.

Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins. I am putting them together because they are real main event quality performers. They are destined to have a one on one match at a pay per view maybe Summer Slam. They are the favorites in this match. In fact if Rollins wins chances are Orton does not. However despite Rollins screwing Ambrose and Reigns and they had issues with each other a one on one match between them would have a lot of interest if in fact both win. Unlike Reigns both have the total package of in ring ability and great mic skills with Ambrose having the best mic skills. Either one can win and they don’t need anyone to put them over.

RVD. This is his type of match. In fact he has already won one of these matches. If they wanted RVD to have a strap then he would have had it already. Still depending on who is the WWE champ RVD can provide a high quality match against anyone.

Jack Swagger. Ah the benefits of having a quality man in your corner such as Zeb Colter. He would not be relevant if not for Zeb. The other 5 participants will be flying all over the ring so I am not sure what he can offer to this match.

Wade Barrett?? Does his injury keep him out of this match? I believe it will. Wade has a heavy weight body but a mid card player is where he really belongs. His angle is really over with the fans despite being a rule breaker. So it is a shame he had to get hurt while he is hot. He could have won the title shot. But still like Swagger, Barrett can’t fly around and take the kind of bumps the other 5 guys can take.

Rosev??? I think he gets added and might even win if the plan was to have Barrett win. Besides we would get to see the gorgeous Lana at ringside.

Adam Rose/Bo Dallas??? Possible replacements and former NXT guys who are undefeated since getting called up to the big club. Way too soon for a shot at the big strap but a good performance could further endure them to the fans.

CM PUNK??? A real long shot here but he can come back and would win just so he would be back in the title picture. We all know Punk is coming back at some point we hope. This would raise the roof off the joint. And if he wins and decided to cash in his MIB contract that night the building would go crazy. He has a past history with everyone in that match.

 

Prediction. It’s not too soon for Ambrose or Rollins to win this match. And since the shield pretty much screwed everyone no matter who they face there will be past history. If Punk comes back he will win and cash in his MIB contract that night and win. The boys in the back will complain but that will provide a lot of juice and set the tracks to the one match we all want to see which is Punk vs Bryan at Summerslam. If he does not come back I see Rollins winning the title shot.

Professional Wrestling Mount Rushmore Modern Era

To make this mountain you have to have transcended wrestling.  Your achievements and accolades would have to have made this bigger and more mainstream.  That certainly makes this list smaller.  I can’t go back 100 years because obviously I wasn’t alive so I will start with the 1970’s til now.  Three of the names are easy. The last one can be debated. 220px-Vince_McMahon_2

There is no doubt that Vince McMahon is the first on this list.  He was the game changer and completely made wrestling what is today and effectively wiped out most of his competition by breaking the gentleman’s agreement.  Hey anyone could have done what he did.  But what he did with how we saw wrestling on television and with pay per views plus taking a chance on the right guy in Hulk Hogan is a story in itself.  To wrestling fans we know what WrestleMania week is and what it has become and how it grows every year.  To others who don’t follow or bash wrestling they need to understand what Vince has created.  I recall a caller on Mike Francesa’s show bring up WrestleMania 29 at Met Life stadium and how Francesa had no idea the building sold out in a half hour or less.  And as the caller tried to explain the whole week is just like the Super Bowl with events and parties etc he could not understand the fascination.  We know nothing is bigger than the Super Bowl but this has grown so huge because of Vince’s drive.  With the network now up and running and how WWE constantly draws more fans and hits on social media there is no end in sight.  Also Vince was involved in one of the greatest story lines in history when he went up against Stone Cold Steve Austin.

 

220px-Hulk_Hogan3

Is there any real doubt that Hulk Hogan is the next one on the mountain.  Hogan was the hand selected poster boy of Vince McMahon and boy was he right.  Hogan worked for Vince’s father and bounced around and was not under WWE contract when he appeared in Rocky 3 as Thunderlips.  Hogan was energetic and charismatic and the fans took to him big time.  Forever in the hearts of the kids those same fans still love him.  Not a good in ring wrestler but the perfect person at that time.  His mantra of training, say your prays and eat your vitamins endured him to the youth and their parents.  Of course he got caught with steroids but by then the scope of wrestling was forever changed.  Hogan will always be the Immortal One that every one of the boys in the back owes a debt of gratitude to.

 

Rock

Can You Smell What The Rock Is Cooking.  This is an easy choice for the third member of the mountain.  The Rock is the only wrestler to successfully make it in Hollywood.  By making it I mean actually have movies that make money.  Hogan’s movies never drew at the box office.  Rock thrives at the box office.  Others like Terry Funk and Jerry Lawler had their moments but nothing like what the Rock has done.  His 5.5 million salary in his movie debut is still the highest in history.  The Rock’s promos are still great no matter how long he is away from the ring.  Rock has more in ring ability than Hogan ever did and his mic work is top 5 overall all time.  He is the more cool and hip version of Hogan.  The fans will always love the Rock.

220px-Ric_Flair_-_Wooooo

This one was hard and it came down to between Ric Flair and Bruno Sammartino.  I picked Flair because basically he would work matches in all the different territories while he was champion and Bruno didn’t.  Perhaps the problems Bruno had with Vince Sr prevented him from doing so.  But the Nature Boy can still cut a mean promo and his ability to thrive in the old days and the current days gives him the nod.  Bruno would not last in today’s world of wrestling.  Bruno was a wrestler.  So was Flair but Flair was also an entertainer who could put over a broom stick.

HONORABLE MENTION

Bruno Sammartino

Daily Blog 6-17

So the dust has settled on the NBA Finals and it’s the let’s bash Lebron James party again.  No one is bashing Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh after their horrible performance in the series against the Spurs.  Lebron actually played really well.  It Is amazing how much people don’t like him or prefer Michael Jordan.  Lebron does more than Jordan on the court.  That is a fact.  But The Big Three aside and the 6 rings to 2 what is the real comparison between the two players.  Lebron often is forced to guard the best offensive player on the opposing team.  Jordan had Scottie Pippen widely regarded as the best defensive player in the game at that time to handle that.  Lebron is often needed to rebound.  Jordan had Horace Grant then Dennis Rodman who’s chief responsibility was to rebound.  Finally Lebron now has lost 3 NBA Finals to Jordan’s none.  Forget the fact that Lebron’s trip to the finals with Cleveland was just him and a bunch of nobodies.  Jordan never took a team to the finals that had basically nobody.  Plus he had Phil Jackson as his coach for all of those championships.  This debate will ultimately come to an end now because it will be hard for Lebron to get 6 rings.  Maybe Duncan will get 6 rings.  Maybe Kobe gets his sixth ring of the Lakers bring in hired guns.  This offseason will be the most interesting the NBA has seen since the decision.

It is amazing how 2 teams who both lost the championship series in 5 games are looked at differently.  The Heat need to be dismantled, rebuilt or re tooled how ever way  you look at it.  The New York Rangers are looking to find that missing piece of the puzzle.  Granted the Rangers lost 3 games in overtime and had some bad luck as well.  That is sports for you.  While the Rangers do have some decisions to make and you can expect a handful of changes their core will remain in tact but it is so hard in hockey to get back to that spot.

Everyone is now into the World Cup.  Soccer is still not in the mainstream of America yet as far as interest.  The big 4 sports remain intact and Soccer is not in that party yet.  But we Americans can every 4 years get into the tournament.  USA beat Ghana 2-1 yesterday in their first game of the tournament and now get ready to face Portugal who got embarrassed 4-0 in their opener who also have injury issues and also a key player on suspension.  I watched the whole second half and I was wondering did I already miss the biggest moment of the game,.  The US scored 30 seconds into the game and for 80 minutes this held up until Ghana tied it up and the US eventually got the winner 4 minutes later.  To me and I have never played the sport before the game is really boring with very little action.  But I tell you this those guys are great athletes.  It looked to be scorching hot out there by the number of injuries and fatigued players out there.

I heard a comparison of Tim Duncan vs Kobe Bryant.  As a Laker fan you would think I would say Kobe had the better career.  Not so fast.  Here is the comparisons.  Each have 5 rings.  Kobe’s are consecutively and Duncan’s are more spread out.  Duncan has had the same coach and system for his whole career.  Kobe hasn’t.  Kobe had Shaq and that combo should have won more titles.  Kobe had had to deal with more drama a lot of that was brought on my himself.  Duncan was and is never in the conversation of the greatest player of all time.  While Michael Jordan will be the best ever Kobe finds his way into that discussion.  All the while Duncan might be a better bet to get that 6th championship than Kobe.

The Ultimate Warrior’s Shocking Life

The_Ultimate_Warrior_April_2014

It has now been 2 months since the passing of Jim Hellwig aka Warrior.  I wanted to write something when this happened and the truth is that I got lazy and forgot about it.  So perhaps that I am writing this now will give all of us some perspective on what happened.  He came and is gone as fast as his ring entrance was or some of his matches(Honky Tonk Man Summer Slam).  His rise to the top in the WWE was meteoric and his fall was even harder.  Even his death is so surrounded by controversy and questions.

Warrior was as beloved as Hulk Hogan was, as Randy Savage was back in the late 80’s early 90’s.  He was different.  The three biggest WWE stars from that era were Hogan, Savage and Warrior.  Hulk and Randy strutted to the ring.  Not so much as moving slowly but just getting that crowd built up to their eventual entrance and victory in their matches.  Warrior was shot out of a cannon to the ring drowning the crowd with his energy and vigor.  No one had this kind of entrance.  It was an uncontrollable frenzy all the way until he got in the ring and started shaking the ropes.  You would have thought he was going to tear off the ring posts in the process.  And he would bludgeon his opponents.  He was Goldberg long before Goldberg was around.  And he was as big a star as anyone.  But what happened.  I don’t have any back stage access or sources in the industry.  Instead all I can do is rely on what I have read.  A lot of wrestlers thought they were as good as Hogan.  Hogan could sell out any arena anywhere and not many can make that claim.  But there is only one Hogan and he was the only one who could have made Wrestling what it is today when Vince McMahon created the machine.  So I am sure that burned Warrior who probably felt he was as big a draw in wrestling as there was and on par with Hogan.

Where I think Warrior went wrong is outside of the Wrestling world he is not on that level. The problems with Vince and who knows what really happened and how much money he was promised and suing for his name because he made the name what it is despite the opportunity and huge push Vince gave him.  From all accounts Vince is a very shrewd business man.  He wouldn’t be where he is today if he wasn’t.  His feuds with Hogan when he retired which was all over the internet were very strange and very personal.  Maybe because Hogan was always getting another chance to be a star.  Is it because Warrior was un reliable and always causing a problem.  He did have that reputation.  But after all he had the same star appeal as Hogan did.  He just wasn’t going to be number one on the list like Hogan was.

When WWE announced Warrior was getting put in the hall of fame I was shocked.  I will admit I wasn’t into wrestling that much at the time.  Not like the old days and not like now.  Even so that he signed a legends contract which I am sure is coming in handy now that he is no longer with us.  It has come out now that he always felt he would pass away young.  All the males on his side had heart problems.  So it was probably not a good idea for Warrior to do steroids.  For what we know he hated Vince so when he buried the hatchet was this because he knew his time was running out and wanted some form of security for his family.  Or maybe he was just tired of fighting.

When a wrestler leaves us before his time the WWE usually does it right.  With the tributes and speeches.  I don’t know what kind of money they give to the widows but Warrior was under contract at the time and his widow has sad the WWE did the right thing by her.  I was looking forward to his induction speech and I was hoping I could understand what he was going to say.  To my surprise it was very good.  It seemed like he buried a lot of hatchets he had in his closet before he ultimately gave his own eulogy on Monday Night Raw the next night and day before he would leave us.   What I will remember most is the WWE Superstars like John Cena, Daniel Bryan and Batista who probably never met him let alone had a conversation with him singing his praises.  There was Batista the man the fans turned against saying he shakes the ropes tribute to the Warrior.  Stories like this were lost because of the fighting he did with Vince.  The number of Superstars who revered him and never got the chance to meet him is probably long.  He should have been there all along and maybe he took that to his grave.

Linda McMahon inducted him into the hall of fame.  A rather dubious choice.  I thought maybe Hogan would have done that.  What does it say about the man when no other fellow wrestler would induct him.  I found that very strange.  Everything about him was strange.  I will always remember him as a rare performer who thrilled us every time he came to the ring and confused us once he stepped out of it.