Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Passing Of Oscar Madison

I love the Odd Couple. I enjoyed the movie, but I LOVE the TV show. Jack Klugman was a fine actor. He passed away on Christmas Eve. Oscar Madison was one reason why I wanted to be a sportswriter in high school. He's the reason I blog about sports now.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Drop Dead Hockey Date Jan. 14th

It seems as if the NHL has set a drop dead date of Janurary 14th to see if the season can be saved. My sources say that a 48 game season could be had if games start to play in mid Janurary.
Lets hope something can be worked out soon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I Was A Sports Writer...For One Day

I was driving home tonight, and a thought popped up in my mind. I had a one day experience as a sports writer for my local town paper, The Daily Democrat in Woodland, Ca.
All I remember is answering an ad in the classifieds about a part time sports writers job. This was in the fall of 1995. I had previous experience writing for my highschool paper, The Woodland High Orange Peel. Keep in mind I hadn't written anything set for publication in five years at the time. I had dreams about being a sports writer in high school. My dreams were crushed when I met a beat writer for the Sacramento Bee. She covered the A's. This was at the 1989 All-Star Game in Anahiem. I approached her after the game. I told her what I wanted to do for a career. She looked at me and said, "That sounds great, but get into a business where you can make some money. There is no money in writing." I couldn't believe she would say something like that. I thought if she was unhappy with her job, then why pursue it for myself?
So after high school I gave up writing and ended up lost.
I still read the sports pages everyday. Over the years I thought writing was my calling. So the ad in the paper was a answer to my prayers.
So I called the paper and spoke to the sports editor. He had me come to the office and do a typing test. I remember it was just re-typing a wire story from Pittsburgh. I think about the Steelers. I took a very long time to type the story. Then he said I had two choices. Cover a girls tennis match at the local racquet club, or cover a boys soccer game. I chose the soccer game.
So I then made preparations for the game. I bought a note pad, pens and pencils, and a tape recorder. I wanted to show I meant business.
So I show up to the game and do my pre-game interviews with the coaches. I identified myself as "Felix Castaneda with The Daily Democrat".
I walk up to the pressbox and find a place to sit. There were a few other people in there.
Then the game begins. Then two things occur to me. One, I hated soccer. Second, I knew nothing about soccer. So I'm sitting there asking questions about the game I'm supposed to be covering.
After the game I do my postgame interviews with the winning goalie who didn't speak English.
So I go home and write my story. My deadline was midnight. The game ended around 7pm. Five hours to write the story, no problem!
Big problem.....I didn't have a computer. I wanted to submit my story looking as professional as I could. So I eat dinner and write the story. Woodland didn't have a Kinko's at the time. So I went to Davis and typed my story. I remember referring to assists as "set-ups" and trying to be witty by saying, "the winning goalie had the night off, he didn't even need to show up as the Woodland defenders help keep the attackers away from the goal net". I then realize the story is costing me money. After the computer time, tape recorder($35), and the other materials, I was out almost $60!
Its almost midnight and I finally submit my story in the overnight box at the newspaper office. I went to bed thinking I had a future in the business.
I woke up and discovered I was dreaming. The sports editor calls me and say he got the story and in his words it was "Alright, it was okay". He told me he was going to publish it but he said I had a lot of work to do if I was going to be a sports writer. He said he would get back to me for a future assingment. I never heard from him again. My dreams crushed again.
I remember thinking it was cool to see my name on a byline, and I could say I had published work. But no one cared. Neither did I. I threw my copy away.
I hated that bastard since. But I have grown to love soccer over the last few years!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Vintage Golf Clubs

There is someone in Napa who is buying or in my mind stealing vintage golf clubs out from under me.
This morning I had some extra time to kill, so I went to a local thrift shop.
In the golf club bin I found a vintage Maxfli-Dunlop 3 wood. In great condition. It was only a $1. Problem was, I didn't have any cash on me. I used my cash the night before to fill up my tank. I thought, "hmm, a tiny church thrift store, no one will buy this. I'll come back at lunch."
Well flash forward four hours. I'm thinking all day that three wood is going to be a great addition to my vintage set of golf clubs. I drive to the thrift store, get out of my car and walk in. I head straight to the golf club bin to grab my treasure. And to my horror, its gone! I walked around the store several times hoping to find it in a wrong place. I curse myself and walk out empty handed. I violated a rule in thrifting. If you see something you like, get it. Or else someone else will snatch it up. Just like someone out there in Napa who is also into collecting vintage golf clubs. This person(s) also walked away with very old 1930's golf clubs. The clubs didn't have the current number system on the irons. They had the names Niblick, Mashie Niblick, Spoon, etc. I didn't buy those right away because I was researching how old the clubs were. A few days later they were gone.
Just yesterday someone told me if it wasn't there when I came back to buy something at a thrift store, it wasn't meant for me. Maybe somewhere out there the PERFECT 3 wood is out there for me!

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Race For 100 Days

Today is December 7th. There are 24 more days left in the year. I have been out running 88 days. This morning will be the 89th day. I'm trying to reach 100 days of running so I can say I ran almost a third of the year. I would be well over 120-150 days if I hadn't fallen ill in Janurary and half of Feburary. I lost twelve days for going to a strike store when the grocery strike happened last month. Then there was the great rainstorm last weekend.
So as of now, I'm gunning for 100 days. Next year I'm setting a goal of 150-160 days. I also want to do a half marathon. So I need to build up endurance. Now if you'll excuse me, I gotta run!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sacramento Granted USL Expansion Franchise

Well the big news yesterday was the United Soccer League Pro Division announced a new expansion team set to play in 2014. The team will play at Hughes Stadium on the campus of Sacramento City College.
In other news, the City of Elk Grove announced their intention of building a MLS specific stadium to attract a team for the region in the future.
It looks like soccer fever has hit Sacramento. Question is, will the region support soccer?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

College Hockey is Good Hockey

Damn this NHL lockout. Didn't they learn anything from the last lockout in 2004?
I'm dying to see hockey. Right now I'm watching Boston College vs Boston University. The Battle for Commonwealth Avenue. I'm a Boston College guy.....go Eagles!

Monday, November 26, 2012

I'm Alive and Well Everyone.....

Sorry for the very long delay. Very busy at Sporting FC headquarters.
In the time I was away, the Giants won the World Series, hockey is on a lockout, and the No Fun League marches on. Oh and basketball too.
I'm going to be back on December 1st. Still enjoying my Thanksgiving break!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Live Television Is Hard

I made my TV debut last night. I'm told I did pretty good. I just talked about local NFL football, baseball. I wrote my own material and did a couple of rehearsals. Then came the big moment. When I saw the red light go on, I just started doing my bit. I bantered with the host Arty Reyes and co-host Spaceman Stacy. They made me feel at ease. I flubbed my closing remarks. But at least I did it. Next week will be better!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

All Hell Is Breaking Loose In The NFL

Well it looks like the use of replacement refs have already angered a fan base, and possibly affected a teams season. The replacement refs blew a call at the final play of the Packers/Seahawks game last night. The final play was a Hail Mary caught by a Packers defender in the end zone, but ruled a touchdown for Seattle. Even after the review,the refs still got it wrong.
I personally don't mind as I picked Seattle to go to the Super Bowl. The question remains, what is Roger Godell going to do about this? I'm quite sure the real refs will be back to work very soon!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Another Good Reason To Watch AAA Baseball

The New York Mets announced that their AAA affiliate will be in Las Vegas for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
I like to see teams from the east coast have their teams in the Pacific Coast League. It gives me an opportunity to see their top prospects. Looks like I'll be going to a few River Cats games next year!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Watching Someone Self Destruct On Live TV

I'm watching the US Open Mens final right now. It looks like its going to be a historic match. The sentimental favorite is Andy Murray. He's never won a Grand Slam final before.
Murray won the first two sets. The first set took an hour and a half. The tie break was half an hour.
Now Djokovic is storming back. Hitting strong shots, pumping his fists after winners, getting inside Murray's head.
As I write this, Djokovic is about to tie the match two sets all.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My 2012 NFL Picks

Happy No Fun League kick-off! On my Facebook page I made a bold prediction for the local teams and my Super(over hyped) Bowl pick.
For all you Nor Cal football fans, I think the San Francisco 49ers are going to go 9-7 and barely make the playoffs. The Oakland Raiders are in rebuild mode and will go 8-8. I think good things are about to happen when the Green Bay blueprint will be installed in Oakland.
As for my Super Bowl pick, I say the Baltimore Ravens will meet the Seattle Seahawks. Ladies and gentleman, the Seattle Seahawks will be your Super Bowl champion!
To all my readers out there, may your 2012 season be filled with cold beer, great times and good friends!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I Don't Like This Trend......

I have been watching baseball for thirty years now. As long as I have known, baseball men, professional life long baseball men, run an organization from top to bottom.
Lately thanks to Bill James, Theo Epstien among others, people who have never played an inning of professional baseball, are running baseball teams.
This has been brought up in Moneyball, stat geeks gaining employment in front office jobs.
The Astros just hired a writer/podcaster to be their director of scouting.
I don't like it because life long baseball men who have a feel for the game are not working any more. It used to be the buddy system. "Hey buddy, can I have a job?" Now you need an Ivy League education and a friend or school connection to get your foot in the door.
I don't like it one bit!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Andy Roddick To Retire.....Good Riddance

The face of men's American tennis is going to retire after the US Open. The spoiled brat who never lived up to his potential is finally going to walk away. Thank goodness.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'm Obsessed With English Football!!!

For the last year I have been following English football. I was caught up in Manchester City run to the Premier League title. I was so close to following Manchester United. I mean I almost jumped on the bandwagon. Then I was thinking about following Chelsea. But everyone it seems follows those two.teams.
I read an amazing article about New York soccer in USSoccerPlayers.com.
A fellow by the name of Clemente wrote the article. We exchanged a few e-mails. I told him about trying to decide who to root for. He suggested Man City and Tottenham. So I decided to root for Tottenham Hot Spur.
On free time I have been watching clips of old matches from the 60's and 70's.
I'm about to read The Damned United and Fever Pitch. I have seen the movies, but now I want to read the books.
And I have been watching a lot of Fox Soccer and Goal TV. Yep, I'm obsessed!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Red Sox Wave The White Flag

I never thought I would say this, but the Boston Red Sox gave up yesterday. But I think its for the better. The Red Sox traded Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Punto, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to the LA Dodgers for James Loney and minor leaguers who were deemed untouchable. One of them was Jerry Sands. I hate to see him go, but there was no place for him in LA.
The Red Sox are going to save $250million and build for the future.
Josh Beckett thrives in new enviroments, so hopefully the change of scenery will do him some good. As for Carl Crawford, he won't be available until late 2013, as he has just had Tommy John surgery. I think there was too much pressure on him in Boston. He has time to get himself together physically and mentally.
The next move for Boston? Fire Bobby Valentine!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Brad Mills Out Of Terrible Situation In Houston

Brad Mills was fired yesterday. Based on his departing comments, he sounds relieved he's moving on. He is going to watch his son play minor league ball and spend time with his grand-children.
He was dealt a terrible hand during his tenure. A patch work roster, an owner not commited to winning, then an ownership change promising change wasn't the most comfortable situation to be in.
Well Brad can be assured of another major league managing job in his future. He won 171 games with a lousy baseball team. He gained experience that will make him successful for his next job.
His replacement, Tony DeFrancesco was the AAA manager for the local Sacramento River Cats for many years. I feel Tony will be very successful in Houston!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

What A Night For My First Soccer Game!

I just came home from one of the biggest games of the year in Major League Soccer. Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara was the site for the San Jose Earthquakes versus the Seattle Sounders.
I have been following soccer on a day to day basis for a year now. I really like what I see on TV. I like the lively atmosphere, the chanting/singing, the continuous flow of action through out the game.
Its nice to see families in team gear walking around. It was a very family friendly enviroment.
I was quite interested in the section behind one of the goals, where the hardcore San Jose followers sat. They sang and cheered the loudest. They waved HUGE flags, threw streamers and confetti every chance they got. They even set of a smoke bomb after the national anthem!
Enough about the action in the stands, the best action was on the field. It was a defensive game for most of the night. Seattle just came off a US Open Cup loss to Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday. They played the backups to start with. Eddie Johnson, Fredy Montero and Mauro Rosales were resting on the bench.
From where I was sitting, I noticed how fast San Jose mid-fielder Marvin Chavez was. He can cover a lot of ground. The player of the game was Steven Lenhart, whose header in the 93rd minute won the game.
I had a great time. I'm looking forward to going back to another game before the seasons over. But next time I'll bring a seat cushion. Buck Shaw is antiquated, so the metal benches were not comfortable. Oh, the scenery was very nice. Lots of beautiful women everywhere!


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mexico Wins The Gold!!!

I woke up late to see most of the game, but I saw the last 15 minutes of the gold medal soccer game between Mexico versus mighty Brazil.
It's Mexico's first gold medal in the Olympics.
Now I can say I watched 15 minutes of the Olympics.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Best Part Of The NFL Season Is Upon Us

I have always enjoyed the simple things in life. Life is getting too complex. Everything is massed produced and over hyped now a days.
The NFL is one such thing that has gotten so big and out of control.
I didn't even watch this years Super Bowl. It's almost a national holiday now. Pre-game coverage starts as soon as the sun comes up.
The season is too long I think.
But now its training camp season. Ever since I read Paper Lion for the first time many years ago, I love training camp. The players live in dorms, eat meals in a cafeteria, study the playbooks in a classroom setting, and practice in t- shirt and shorts. Football in a very simple setting.
The rest of the season I can do without. I'd rather watch practice than the actual games.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dodgers Get Hanley For Next To Nothing!

Im driving home from a long day at work. I stop at Del Taco for a late snack ( if ya call two combo burritos, four tacos and a order of crinkle cut fries a snack). While waiting for my order I scroll through Facebook. One post got my attention. Dodger super fan Luis posted something about the Dodgers getting Hanley. At the same time I get my food. So there was no time to read about it. Finally after getting home I read LA gave up Nathan Evoldi and a minor leaguer to the cash strapped Marlins, who are already in selling mode!
Great pickup for the Dodgers, a bad set of circumstances for the Marlins. Its a shame that the season that began with high hopes is now just business as usual for Miami.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Time For Tennis

Next Wednesday I'm finally going to play tennis. My competitive days are long gone (I used to be a Class C player). Now I just like to hit the ball back and forth and talk. Perhaps afterward I'll have a cold cocktail and talk some more.
Of course I'll use the vintage tennis racquets I bought!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tough Dodger Loss

Kenley Jansen learned a valuable lesson tonight. Never turn your back with runners on second and third. While Jansen was pawing and kicking at the dirt on the mound, two Padres runners scored. What was a save and a Dodger victory turned out to be a very tough loss. Nice going Kenley....

Friday, July 13, 2012

Does Anybody Read The Box Scores Anymore?

I'm watching the AAA All-Star Game and Tom Seaver was a guest in the booth during the game. He mentioned he's a voracious box score reader. I used to be a voracious box score reader.
Back in the days before the internet, one of the first things I would to start my day was read the box scores. I would read the Dodgers box score first. Then I would look at the rest of the teams and see if anyone stood out from the previous nights games. You can tell a lot about a game by looking at the box score. The late, great Gene Mauch could replay a game in his mind through the box score.
My obsession with the box score vanished with the arrival of the internet and the 24/7 news updates.
Information is everywhere now, the bottom scroll on tv, live game updates, our mobile phones, Facebook, and Twitter. Up to the second news updates surround us now. There are no surprises anymore more looking at the sports page. When was the last time you read a newspaper?
I always tell myself I'm gonna pick up a paper and pour over the box scores. But who has time for that now?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Giants Becoming the West Coast Red Sox?

I saw a tweet from Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News that he wrote an article a few years ago about the Giants becoming a west coast version of the Boston Red Sox.
I don't like the sound of that, but it's true.
I have not read the article, but according to his tweet, he says its about how successfully the team has marketed itself. I agree with that statement. The team does promote themselves very well all because of those two homer announcers Kruk and Kuip. I enjoy listening to them, but its as if they are force feeding orange and black down everyones throat. In between pitches and funny stories the two are always promoting anything and everything about the team. It gets annoying after awhile.
Then there is the panda hats, Melk Men and Melk Maids outfits, the giraffe, the "fear the beard" stuff (thank God the beard thing is slowly dying). It's clever and I get it, but the Giants fans go overboard with those gimmicks.
Then there is the ballpark itself. I have had good and bad experiences there, depending on where your sitting. I love the Club Level. Comfortable and roomy, and short lines for food and drinks. The rest of the place is bad in my opinion. It seems as if they tried to squeeze as many seats as possible in such a small space. Leg room is non existant. I just don't feel comfortable. I have vowed many times I will never go back, but I always do.
The best marketing a team can get is winning the World Series. I say it was the worst thing to happen to the Giants, at least from a real baseball fans perspective. The Giants have become the hot ticket the last few years. This brings out not only the casual fan, but the "fake fan" too. A fake fan is easy to spot. They have all their nice new Giants t-shirt, hats and other orange and black they can get their hands on. They claim to be life long fans. They are loud, obnoxious and have no knowledge of the game. They are there for the party/social aspect of the game. The fake fan is there to be seen by others, not to see a game.
So being popular is good for the Giants now. They are enjoying popularity I have never seen them have before. They are the kings of west coast baseball for now. They are experiencing baseball success the Dodgers used to have.
Enjoy it now Giants fans, it won't last forever.

Monday, July 9, 2012

How To Fix The All Star Game

Growing up I looked forward to the Mid-Summer Classic. The first one I watched was the 1982 ASG in Montreal. It was so simple back then. Just show up and play the game for a few innings, then enjoy a day off of the All Star break before the second half grind.
I remember the 1984 game in San Francisco and the '87 game in Oakland. Again, the game was so simple.
I finally went to my first ASG in Anaheim in 1989. I went to the All Star workout the day before. There were fielding contest, run around the bases contest, then a homerun derby. It was an experience I'll never forget. The place was half empty for the workout. No televising of the festivities, if ya had a ticket you were the only person to see it take place.
The game the next day was amazing and memorable. Everyone remembers Bo Jackson's mammoth homer. I remember President Reagan being there. (The only time I have been in the same building with the President)
Once again the game was so simple. No hype, no mass produced anything presented by a major national corporate sponsor.
I have said it once, said it twice, and I'll say it again. ESPN is the best and the worst thing to happen to sports. ESPN ruined the All Star Game. All because of the hype and mass production of the Homerun Derby. It's hyped more than the actual game is. Now the Derby is presented by State Farm, and the special gold baseballs are presented by Century 21.
Now the fellas are tweeting during the derby. Some of the batters bring their own pitcher to pitch to them. The players are mic'd up so you can hear everything being said. It's too much going on all at once!!
And don't get me started on the voting. I discussed it in a previous post. There is some serious ballot box stuffing going on out there (AT&T Park).
Now with all the Internet voting, it's nothing more than a popularity contest that has gotten out of control. I never liked the fact it's the fans who vote the players in. It should go to the players, managers and coaches. (I hated to see a past his prime Ozzie Fu@king Smith out there. I hated that bastard anyways)
I just feel a lot of undeserving players get voted in because of hype (SF Giants broadcasters, bunch of homers!).
So that's one fix, let the right people get to vote the players in.
Another would be to tone down the festivities. A Red Carpet show for a baseball game? Really? Get rid of that.
Another would be to take away the home field advantage to the winning league for the World Series. I never liked that. We would be talking about the World Champion Texas Rangers if it weren't for that stupid rule. Bring back the every other year home field advantage.
I know I'm just griping, but I remember when it was just a game. It will never be that way ever again.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The All Star Game Voting is a Joke

Really Buster Posey is the leading vote getter for the National League? Pablo Sandoval is voted in the ASG? Lots of ballot box stuffing in San Francisco. Im not watching the game anymore. The players and coaches should determine who goes to the ASG.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The 10/5 Rule

Carlos Lee rejected a trade to the Dodgers. The Astros are playing for respectability at this point. The Dodgers need power. The Dodgers are fighting to stay afloat in the NL West. It would have been a good trade.
But since Carlos Lee is a 10/5 guy (ten years in the majors, five with the same team), he has the right to veto a trade. The question to ask is, why stay in Houston? Why not be a part of an exciting pennant race?
Rafael Palmero went through this in 2003. The Cubs had a deal in place to acquire Palmero. But he rejected the trade because he was comfortable in Texas.
Who's comfortable with losing? I don't understand it.
I think Carlos Lee rejecting the trade is a blessing in disguise. Why give up a prized pitching prospect for someone who's not interested in winning? Hopefully the Dodgers can make a deal for someone who wants to win.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Bubble Burst.....

When baseball historians look back at the 2012 LA Dodgers, the question will be asked what happened to them. The answer is the bubble burst on June 19th, when they traveled to Oakland and eventually got swept by the Athletics.
One week later the Dodgers traveled to San Francisco and got swept by the Giants. They didn't score one run. The faced the ever struggling Barry Zito and the suddenly struggling Tim Lincecum. And to make matters worse, Andre Eitheir is hurt. The once double digit lead in the NL West is now down to nil.
First place was fun while it lasted. The wind is out of the Dodgers sails and the winds of change have shifted to San Francisco.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Big week coming up for Manchester City

Manchester City is a week away from winning their first Premier League championship. The obstacle before them is the Queens Park Rangers. QPR will not roll over and play dead as they are on the brink of being removed from the Champions League. It promises to be an exciting match next Sunday!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Historic Day?

May 7th 2012, Albert Pujols finally hit a homerun. Now ESPN will over-analyze it till he hits his next one.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Great Day at the Ballpark

I just got home from a very pleasant day in San Francisco. I saw the Marlins and Giants on a blustery, brisk day at AT&T Park.
It was a small ball game. Nothing very exciting. The Marlins hit Ryan Vogelsong hard late in the game. The Giants suffered once again hitting with runners in scoring position. Can you imagine the damage the Giants could do if only they could hit?
I made a joke it was the Fresno Grizzlies out on the field.
For those of you familiar with the area, we had a pre-game cocktail at MoMo's. And then we had a post game cocktail there as well. I had my first Old Fashioned. It was very good. Afterward we had a nice dinner at Delancey Street Cafe.
Can't wait to go back!! Im exhausted. Good night!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

English Football

Growing up I was never a soccer fan. Hated playing it in PE. I never understood why my friends played it at the local YMCA league. I had a cousin marry a fella from Mexico who was fanatical about soccer. I would go watch his games with her and find myself bored out of my mind.
I knew who Pele was. Heard stories about Diego Maradonna. I remember my friends being very excited about the '86 World Cup (I think it was played in Mexico). I remember trying to get into the '94 World Cup when it was played here in the States. I even remember the old Bay Area Quakes in the NASL.
So soccer was all around me but I chose to ignore it.
Fast forward all these years later. I'm begining to love soccer. I watch soccer on Fox Soccer channel. Love watching the EPL. I watched a great match yesterday, Manchester United versus Manchester City. Today I  watched Stoke City and Everton.
I love to hear the songs being sung in the crowd, the chants being yelled, the team colors being worn.
Brian Clough said it best. "Football is a beautiful game. It must be played beautifully."

Monday, April 30, 2012

Who would have thought.....

Who would have that the Dodgers would be better than the Angels.... Albert Pujols would have NO homeruns...
The Red Sox would be so bad....
The Mets would be playing so well....
The Royals would still be the Royals...
Tim Lincecum would be struggling (which makes me happy).....
Its been an interesting month. Looking forward for more exciting baseball in May. Im finally going to my first game of the year on Thursday, Giants/Marlins. Then on the 12th I'm catching my first River Cats game. My little cousin Max will be on the field with his Little League team before the game. Little guy will be on a AAA field before I ever set foot on one!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Country Club Sox

The other day on my Facebook I posted an open letter to the Red Sox. I said in a round about way that the team is on the verge of being destroyed by Valentines ego, Beckett's lazy work habits, and comfortable fat cats in the clubhouse.
I wrote this days after Valentine called out Youkilis about his work ethic. Pedroia called out Valentine. The team was looking so bad two weeks into the season. I said it was time to get rid of Valentine, Beckett, Crawford and Bard.
Something must have happened in the Sox clubhouse. They swept Minnesota and hit the ball hard. The pitching looked great. Its only been a few games, but it looks like the Sox have turned the page.
I reffered to the Sox as the Country Club Sox because before 1967, Boston was a comfortable place to lose.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bubba won!!

Just last week I mentioned I saw the Bubba Watson episode of Feherty. I mentioned at the end of my post I hoped Bubba did well at The Masters. Well, he won in a playoff to win his first Green Jacket! I missed the playoff, but I was happy to hear he won. Good things happen to good people!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Trouble Brewing....

According to the World Wide Leader, there is trouble brewing in the Red Sox clubhouse. Granted they have only played two games, but it looks like Bobby Valentine is gonna have a lot of work to do.
I have a solution to the problem. Trade Josh Beckett. He has a bad attitude and lazy work habits. He's the proverbial cancer in the clubhouse. It won't be easy though. Scouts say he looks bad. As bad as they have seen of him ever. Good luck Boston. Its gonna be a long tension filled summer.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Skippers

I have a Yahoo! Fantasy baseball team called The Skippers. I will show my roster once I settle a few trades.

What are you watching?

Big sports day! Opening Day and the first round of The Masters. Right now Im watching Mets/Braves on SNY.
Last night I watched the Marlins/Cardinals. That is a great ballpark in Miami. Its sleek, modern, art deco and futuristic. One of the ESPN commentators said they couldn't go retro in Miami. I agree. I have never been to Miami, but the only thing retro in Miami are the retirees!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What are the Yankees thinking?!?

Today the Yankees optioned my favorite player to the minors. Francisco Cervelli was sent to Scranton Wilkes-Barre today after the Yanks traded for another catcher. I read he was quite stunned by the move. He has proven to be a capable backup catcher the last several years despite the fact he can't hit. He's not in the majors for his bat. He gave Jorge Posada and Russell Martin a day off at least once a week because of his glove work. I read the pitchers loved throwing to him.
You would think with manager Joe Girardi being a former catcher, he would have been againts this move. Something tells me this is a Brian Cashman decision.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Change Of Heart

Bubba Watson is an interesting fella. He embraces his southern upbringing. He's won several times on the PGA Tour. He seems like a devoted family man and a proud son of a Green Beret.
He owns a replica General Lee, complete with orange fire suit. He wears a $525,000 custom made watch
He has a nice ranch in Arizona.
I thought he was a dumb country hick. But after watching Feherty, I really like him now. I hope he does well at The Masters!

Monday, April 2, 2012

A new name and format

Well I pulled the plug on Backup Catcher. Im so busy reading other baseball blogs, I neglected mine. I watch and read a lot of baseball.
So I got to thinking how can I keep my interest in blogging about sports. I was at first thinking of a name change. Jock of All Trades was taken. Jocking Off sounded to crude.
Then it hit me. I love golf just as much as I do baseball. Golfers and baseball players hang out in clubhouses.
So now I introduce to you In the Clubhouse, a new golf and baseball blog. I might throw in a little football too. I hope all two of you out there enjoy the new format!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What I Think

Here's some thoughts I have for the 2012 season......
I think something special is about to happen in Tampa. I really like what Joe Maddon is doing down there.
I think something CAN happen in Miami. There are a lot of strong personalities in that clubhouse. If they can get through this season with no problems, then I think the Marlins will be very successful in the future.
I think the Mets will surprise people. Jason Bay needs to hit.
I think Bobby Valentine in Boston will be a good and bad thing. The Sox need to get rid of Josh Beckett to move forward.
I think the Phillies NOT resigning Ryan Madsen was the best off season move. He was damaged goods.....
Sorry for the long delay. Im reading other blogs, and its taking away from paying attention to mine.

Friday, February 17, 2012

God Bless Ya Kid

I was sad to hear of the passing of Gary Carter. I loved to watch Gary on TV. He always had that big smile on his face, and he always had the attitude that he was happy to be at the ballpark. If only every big leaguer had the mentality being in The Show is a privilege, not a right.
We both shared the same birthday. I remember as a young boy thinking that was so cool.
I wish I could have met him......

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spring Training......finally!!

Well folks this is the week we have been waiting for! The trucks are just arriving in Arizona and Florida. Pitchers and catchers report over the weekend, and full squads by the 26th. Thank God baseball will be on everyday until late October.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Thank God its Feburary!

Well we're a couple of weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training. A couple of weeks away to seeing clips of players in uniform throwing the ball around. About a month away from actual baseball being played.
We made it through another winter....

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What a weird day for baseball....

This past Tuesday was a interesting day in baseball. Moneyball got six Oscar nominations, Tim Lincecum re-upped for two years at $20million per year, Jorge Posasa retired and the Tigers signed Prince Fielder to a nine year contract.
Im hoping Moneyball will at least win an Oscar for Jonah Hill. When I first heard he was gonna be in the movie, I thought he was the wrong choice. After watching the movie, I was wrong. He proved he can act in a dramatic way. I was very impressed!
Tim Lincecum is very interesting. Why won't he sign long term?
Jorge Posada.....one of my favorite Yankees. Very classy of him to retire rather than play in a limited role for another team. I feel he's a Hall of Famer. He was always clutch, called a great game and he was a great team leader. Sad to see the Core Four dwindle down to two.
And finally Prince Fielder. All I can say is Detroit over payed for him and gave him too many years in that contract. They are going to regret the back end of that deal.
Until next time, thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Winter reading.....

Hello everyone! Things are a little slow here. Now with spring training less than a month away,I should be writing more.
Im currently reading three books. I know its a lot to read, but the subject matters are so different.
Im reading The Bronx Zoo by Sparky Lyle for some comic relief. Great book about the day to day life in a major league clubhouse. Growing up, I thought players loved one another, drank milkshakes and helped little old ladies across the street. Then I read this book in high school. Players sometimes fight amongts each other, drink like fish and chase women every chance they get! Totally changed my persecption of baseball.
The other book is Men at Work by George Will. Its about the craft of baseball. How players, managers, coaches and scouts prepare for games. I read it when it first came out over twenty years ago. I felt it was a little to advanced for me back then. Its been sitting in a box. So now that Im older and wiser, I'm gonna give it another read.
On my Kindle, I just ordered The Mental Game of Baseball by Harvey Dorfman and Karl Kuehl (God rest his soul!).
Again I read it in my early twenties and it was probably too advanced for me. I was very immature and I read it because I saw it was the book assigned to Baseball Theory class at Sacramento City College. I wanted to take the class, but it was only for the players on the team. I don't think it was a classroom setting, it was just the team out on the field practicing.
Needless to say, I didnt understand the subject matter at all. I feel now I can grasp the subject matter.
I want to read Roger Angell's work again. They will be next.
Until next time, thanks for reading!