Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dodger Fans Let Silly No-Hit Bid Interrupt Much More Interesting Beach Ball Game

Last night, Hiroki Kuroda took a no-hitter into the 8th inning. An at best middle of the rotation starter was on the verge of history when, all of a sudden, a beach ball lands on the field out of nowhere. Nice timing, Dodgers fans. Vin Scully is not amused by your classlessness.



Perhaps it is not a coincidence that it was later in the 8th inning that Shane Victorino hit a single to right field to break up the no-hitter. Good. Dodgers fans and their lackadaisical attitude did not deserve to see that no-hitter completed last night. Really? Throwing a beach ball on the field while you're own pitcher is throwing a no-hitter in the 8th inning? How classless can you get?

(Video courtesy of Awful Announcing)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Awful Announcing Is Back!!!..........Sort Of

When I woke up this morning and put my socks on for my first day back at my university, the last thing I expected was to stumble on the return of Awful Announcing. Well, guess what? As of Sunday, August 29, 2010, Awful Announcing is back!. Just one caveat: It is no longer Brian Powell's site. The site has been purchased from Powell by the Bloguin network and the new site features a whole host of new writers. For a little more information on what is happening, here is the first 2 paragraphs of the 1st post of the new blog written by one of Awful Announcer's new writers and seemingly new head editor: SB Nation Detroit's Brian Packey.
A little over four years ago, Brian Powell started Awful Announcing because NBA broadcaster Hubie Brown somehow let "wideopenshotability" escape from his mouth on-air. It wasn't just another spontaneous sports blog destined to fail, though. Powell had a vision for the site and built it up into one of the most well-known sports blogs on the 'net, focusing on everything broadcasting from potential sharts to random hair product placements. Unfortunately, new responsibilities prevented Powell from posting as much and, ultimately, pretty much at all (the last post prior to today was April 20, but a source close to the situation has said that he still wants to post here occasionally).

Bloguin stepped up to the plate, offering to resurrect AA and put the revered sports blog back on top where it belongs. In an increasingly competitive blogsphere, it will be a tall task, but I think we've assembled a strong enough group of writers to make it happen. We all plan to work hard to maintain the roots of the original AA site, including announcing assignments, quotables, videos, live blogs and analysis, amongst other goodies, but we'll also be splashing in our own flavor to spruce things up a bit.
It is awesome that the site is back, even if under the proverbial new management. Even though I have never read Packey's work before, the fact that he writes for an SB Nation site gives him some credibility in my book. SB Nation writers know what they are doing.

Seeing as Awful Announcing went on hiatus over 4 months ago and prior to that the site was gaining loads and loads of criticism because of Powell's increased real-world responsibilities took away from the quality of the site, it will be interesting to see how big of an audience this new site receives. Whether or not this site's readership consists mainly of old AA readers or new readers that had not heard of Awful Announcing prior to this site revival will be interesting. Myself, Mookie, and 49er16 will still be hosting NFL live blogs on Sunday and I am definitely going to have live blogs up for some MLB playoff games, but I will still be peeking over at the new AA to see what is going on there as they are claiming they will be having live blogs.

Outside of the community fostered, the thing I liked most about AA was the fact that he took long and winded press releases and condensed them into short blog posts that got to the meat and potatoes of the story while adding his opinion at the end. Since AA's decline and hiatus, no site has really been all about what AA was about. The now defunct Sporting Blog kept track of some things, but occasionally ventured into other topics. Dan Levy's new Press Coverage site is a fine new site that could turn into something like an Awful Announcing, though the site is a lot more opinionated than AA was (which is saying something because AA did have his opinions) frequently focuses more on other topics in sports media outside of announcing. While the style of writing will surely be different, if this new re-launched version of the site can deliver posts and news regarding announcers in a matter similar to what the old AA did (already there are posts on non-stories that gets talked about in July and August, Jay Mariotti, and ESPN's so-called "fantasy experts") , I think it has the potential to be a great success.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Little League World Series (And MLB Baseball) Live Blog

It is a Sunday afternoon. Classes start tomorrow and I am bored right now. I have not watched a whole lot of LLWS games this year, but why not. Organizing my notebooks can right a few hours, right?

Leonard Weaver Does Not Take Kindly To Some Criticisms

Leonard Weaver has always been one of the Eagles more mundane Tweeters. Want to know all about Leonard Weaver's tuna hoagie he ate for lunch? Follow him on Twitter and he will tell you. Want to know about the man who cuts Church Van's hair? He is more than willing to talk about his barber on Twitter. But when someone tweeted at him and criticized his post-season performance, it more than irked the normally mild-mannered Eagles fullback. All phillygm711 tweeted to Leonard Weaver was the following: "no more kissing your butt. You guys were ugly out there yesterday on offense. That performance in unacceptable on Sept. 12!" That sparked this reaction from Church Van. (screen shot from Weaver's Twitter account)

The performance was not exactly a startling one by the Eagles and @phillygm711 does have a right to criticize the performance as such. Nothing he said was over any reasonable boundaries, just what he saw last night. It is true that the Eagles did win the game, but the 1st team offense was at times dreadful to look at. That being said, Leonard Weaver does take criticism like that to heart and hopefully it can somehow motivate him and he can pass the message down to the rest of the 1st team offense (especially the offensive line; as the root of all the Eagles offensive problems lies in the piss poor protection by an offensive line so bad that most high school teams could out perform them), then it is all for the best, right?

On a mostly non-related topic, I think I might have to check myself in a psychological clinic. I have ESP. Those that took my advice to heart are filthy rich now.....provided you changed "game-ending" to "touchdown with 23 seconds left in the game."

Friday, August 27, 2010

UEFA Champions League Group Stage Master Schedule

Schedule by Group (home team listed first; all times PM ET)

Group A

1. Tottenham Hotspur (England)
2. FC Twente (Netherlands)
3. Inter Milan (Italy)
4. Werder Bremen (Germany)

September 14: FC Twente vs. Inter Milan 2:45
September 14: Werder Bremen vs. Tottenham Hotspur 2:45
September 29: Tottenham Hotspur vs. FC Twente 2:45
September 29: Inter Milan vs. Werder Bremen 2:45
October 20: Inter Milan vs. Tottenham Hotspur 2:45
October 20: FC Twente vs. Werder Bremen 2:45
November 2: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Inter Milan 2:45
November 2: Werder Bremen vs. FC Twente 2:45
November 24: Inter Milan vs. FC Twente 2:45
November 24: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Werder Bremen 2:45
December 7: FC Twente vs. Tottenham Hotspur 2:45
December 7: Werder Bremen vs. Inter Milan 2:45

Group B

1. Hapoel Tel Aviv (Israel)
2. Lyon (France)
3. Schalke 04 (Germany)
4. Benfica (Portugal)

September 14: Lyon vs. Schalke 04 2:45
September 14: Benfica vs. Hapoel Tel-Aviv 2:45
September 29: Hapoel Tel-Aviv vs. Lyon 2:45
September 29: Schalke 04 vs. Benfica 2:45
October 20: Schalke 04 vs. Hapoel Tel-Aviv 2:45
October 20: Lyon vs. Benfica 2:45
November 2: Hapoel Tel-Aviv vs. Schalke 04
November 2: Benfica vs. Lyon 2:45
November 24: Schalke 04 vs. Lyon 2:45
November 24: Hapoel Tel-Aviv vs. Benfica 2:45
December 7: Lyon vs. Hapoel Tel-Aviv 2:45
December 7: Benfika vs. Schalke 04 2:45

Group C

1. Valencia (Spain)
2. Manchester United (England)
3. Rangers (Scotland)
4. Bursaspor (Turkey)

September 14: Manchester United vs. Rangers 2:45
September 14: Bursaspor vs. Valencia 2:45
September 29: Valencia vs. Manchester United 2:45
September 29: Rangers vs. Bursaspor 2:45
October 20: Rangers vs. Valencia 2:45
October 20: Manchester United vs. Bursaspor 2:45
November 2: Valencia vs. Rangers 2:45
November 2: Bursaspor vs. Manchester United 2:45
November 24: Rangers vs. Manchester United 2:45
November 24: Valencia vs. Bursaspor 2:45
December 7: Manchester United vs. Valencia 2:45
December 7: Bursaspor vs. Rangers 2:45

Group D

1. Rubin Kazan (Russia)
2. FC Barcelona (Spain)
3. Panathinaikos (Greece)
4. FC Copenhagen (Denmark)

September 14: FC Barcelona vs. Panathinaikos 2:45
September 14: FC Copenhagen vs. Rubin Kazan 2:45
September 29: Rubin Kazan vs. FC Barcelona 12:30
September 29: Panathinaikos vs. FC Copenhagen 2:45
October 20: Panathinaikos vs. Rubin Kazan 2:45
October 20: FC Barcelona vs. FC Copenhagen 2:45
November 2: Rubin Kazan vs. Panathinaikos 12:30
November 2: FC Copenhagen vs. FC Barcelona 2:45
November 24: Rubin Kazan vs. FC Copenhagen 12:30
November 24: Panathinaikos vs. FC Barcelona 2:45
December 7: FC Barcelona vs. Rubin Kazan 2:45
December 7: FC Copenhagen vs. Panathinaikos 2:45

Group E

1. FC Basel (Switzerland)
2. Bayern Munich (Germany)
3. AS Roma (Italy)
4. CFR Cluj (Romania)

September 15: Bayern Munich vs. AS Roma 2:45
September 15: CFR Cluj vs. FC Basel 2:45
September 28: FC Basel vs. Bayern Munich 2:45
September 28: AS Roma vs. CFR Cluj 2:45
October 19: AS Roma vs. FC Basel 2:45
October 19: Bayern Munich vs. CFR Cluj 2:45
November 3: FC Basel vs. AS Roma 2:45
November 3: CFR Cluj vs. Bayern Munich 2:45
November 23: AS Roma vs. Bayern Munich 2:45
November 23: FC Basel vs. CFR Cluj 2:45
December 8: Bayern Munich vs. FC Basel 2:45
December 8: CFR Cluj vs. AS Roma 2:45

Group F

1. Chelsea (England)
2. Marseille (France)
3. Spartak Moscow (Russia)
4. MSK Zilina (Slovakia)

September 15: Marseille vs. Spartak Moscow 2:45
September 15: MSK Zilina vs. Chelsea 2:45
September 28: Spartak Moscow vs. MSK Zilina 12:30
September 28: Chelsea vs. Marseille 2:45
October 19: Spartak Moscow vs. Chelsea 12:30
October 19: Marseille vs. MSK Zilina 2:45
November 3: Chelsea vs. Spartak Moscow 2:45
November 3: MSK Zilina vs. Marseille 2:45
November 23: Spartak Moscow vs. Marseille 12:30
November 23: Marseille vs. MSK Zilina 2:45
December 8: Marseille vs. Chelsea 2:45
December 8: MSK Zilina vs. Spartak Mowcow 2:45

Group G

1. Auxerre (France)
2. Real Madrid (Spain)
3. Ajax (Netherlands)
4. AC Milan (Italy)

September 15: Real Madrid vs. Ajax 2:45
September 15: AC Milan vs. AJ Auxerre 2:45
September 28: Auxerre vs. Real Madrid 2:45
September 28: Ajax vs. AC Milan 2:45
October 19: Ajax vs. Auxerre 2:45
October 19: Real Madrid vs. AC Milan 2:45
November 3: Auzerre vs. Ajax 2:45
November 3: AC Milan vs. Real Madrid 2:45
November 23: Ajax vs. Real Madrid 2:45
November 23: Auxerre vs. AC Milan 2:45
December 8: Real Madrid vs. Auxerre 2:45
December 8: AC Milan vs. AFC Ajax 2:45

Group H

1. FK Partizan (Serbia)
2. Arsenal (England)
3. Braga (Portugal)
4. Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine)

September 15: Arsenal vs. Braga 2:45
September 15: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. FK Partizan 2:45
September 28: FK Partizan vs. Arsenal 2:45
September 28: Braga vs. FC Shakhtar Donetsk 2:45
October 19: Braga vs. FK Partizan 2:45
October 19: Arsenal vs. Shakhtar Donetsk 2:45
November 3: FK Partizan vs. Braga 2:45
November 3: Shakhtar Dontsk vs. Arsenal 2:45
November 23: Braga vs. Arsenal 2:45
November 23: FK Partizan vs. Shakhtar Donetsk 2:45
December 8: Arsenal vs. FK Partizan 2:45
December 8: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Braga 2:45

Schedule by Day (home team listed first; all times PM ET)

September 14
Group A: FC Twente vs. Inter Milan 2:45
Group A: Werder Bremen vs. Tottenham Hotspur 2:45
Group B: Lyon vs. Schalke 04 2:45
Group B: Benfica vs. Hapoel Tel-Aviv 2:45
Group C: Manchester United vs. Rangers 2:45
Group C: Bursaspor vs. Valencia 2:45
Group D: FC Barcelona vs. Panathinaikos 2:45
Group D: FC Copenhagen vs. Rubin Kazan 2:45

September 15
Group E: Bayern Munich vs. AS Roma 2:45
Group E: CFR Cluj vs. FC Basel 2:45
Group F: Marseille vs. Spartak Moscow 2:45
Group F: MSK Zilina vs. Chelsea 2:45
Group G: Real Madrid vs. Ajax 2:45
Group G: AC Milan vs. AJ Auxerre 2:45
Group H: Arsenal vs. Braga 2:45
Group H: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. FK Partizan 2:45

September 28
Group F: Spartak Moscow vs. MSK Zilina 12:30
Group E: FC Basel vs. Bayern Munich 2:45
Group E: AS Roma vs. CFR Club 2:45
Group F: Chelsea vs. Marseille 2:45
Group G: Auxerre vs. Real Madrid 2:45
Group G: Ajax vs. AC Milan 2:45
Group H: FK Partizan vs. Arsenal 2:45
Group H: Braga vs. FC Shakhtar Donetsk 2:45

September 29
Group D: Rubin Kazan vs. FC Barcelona 12:30
Group A: Tottenham Hotspur vs. FC Twente 2:45
Group A: Inter Milan vs. Werder Bremen 2:45
Group B: Hapoel Tel-Aviv vs. Lyon 2:45
Group B: Schalke 04 vs. Benfica 2:45
Group C: Valencia vs. Manchester United 2:45
Group C: Rangers vs. Bursaspor 2:45
Group D: Panathinaikos vs. FC Copenhagen 2:45

October 19
Group F: Spartak Moscow vs. Chelsea 12:30
Group E: AS Roma vs. FC Basel 2:45
Group E: Bayern Munich vs. CFR Cluj 2:45
Group F: Marseille vs. MSK Zilina 2:45
Group G: Ajax vs. Auxerre 2:45
Group G: Real Madrid vs. AC Milan 2:45
Group H: Braga vs. FK Partizan 2:45
Group H: Arsenal vs. Shakhtar Donetsk 2:45

October 20
Group A: Inter Milan vs. Tottenham Hotspur 2:45
Group A: FC Twente vs. Werder Bremen 2:45
Group B: Schalke 04 vs. Hapoel Tel-Aviv 2:45
Group B: Lyon vs. Benfica 2:45
Group C: Rangers vs. Valencia 2:45
Group C: Manchester United vs. Bursaspor 2:45
Group D: Panathinaikos vs. Rubin Kazan 2:45
Group D: FC Barcelona vs. FC Copenhagen 2:45

November 2
Group D: Rubin Kazan vs. Panathinaikos 12:30
Group A: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Inter Milan 2:45
Group A: Werder Bremen vs. FC Twente 2:45
Group B: Hapoel Tel-Aviv vs. Schalke 04
Group B: Benfica vs. Lyon 2:45
Group C: Valencia vs. Rangers 2:45
Group C: Bursaspor vs. Manchester United 2:45
Group D: FC Copenhagen vs. FC Barcelona 2:45

November 3
Group E: FC Basel vs. AS Roma 2:45
Group E: CFR Cluj vs. Bayern Munich 2:45
Group F: Chelsea vs. Spartak Moscow 2:45
Group F: MSK Zilina vs. Marseille 2:45
Group G: Auzerre vs. Ajax 2:45
Group G: AC Milan vs. Real Madrid 2:45
Group H: FK Partizan vs. Braga 2:45
Group H: Shakhtar Dontsk vs. Arsenal 2:45

November 23
Group F: Spartak Moscow vs. Marseille 12:30
Group E: AS Roma vs. Bayern Munich 2:45
Group E: FC Basel vs. CFR Cluj 2:45
Group F: Chelsea vs. MSK Zilina 2:45
Group G: Ajax vs. Real Madrid 2:45
Group G: Auxerre vs. AC Milan 2:45
Group H: Braga vs. Arsenal 2:45
Group H: FK Partizan vs. Shakhtar Donetsk 2:45

November 24
Group D: Rubin Kazan vs. FC Copenhagen 12:30
Group A: Inter Milan vs. FC Twente 2:45
Group A: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Werder Bremen 2:45
Group B: Schalke 04 vs. Lyon 2:45
Group B: Hapoel Tel-Aviv vs. Benfica 2:45
Group C: Rangers vs. Manchester United 2:45
Group C: Valencia vs. Bursaspor 2:45
Group D: Panathinaikos vs. FC Barcelona 2:45

December 7
Group A: FC Twente vs. Tottenham Hotspur 2:45
Group A: Werder Bremen vs. Inter Milan 2:45
Group B: Lyon vs. Hapoel Tel-Aviv 2:45
Group B: Benfika vs. Schalke 04 2:45
Group C: Manchester United vs. Valencia 2:45
Group C: Bursaspor vs. Rangers 2:45
Group D: FC Barcelona vs. Rubin Kazan 2:45
Group D: FC Copenhagen vs. Panathinaikos 2:45

December 8
Group E: Bayern Munich vs. FC Basel 2:45
Group E: CFR Cluj vs. AS Roma 2:45
Group F: Marseille vs. Chelsea 2:45
Group F: MSK Zilina vs. Spartak Mowcow 2:45
Group G: Real Madrid vs. Auxerre 2:45
Group G: AC Milan vs. AFC Ajax 2:45
Group H: Arsenal vs. FK Partizan 2:45
Group H: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Braga 2:45

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Champions League Groups Revealed

As always with these draws, it took an hour to reveal something that should take no more than ten minutes to, but hey, anything to kill time and add unnecessary pageantry, right? However, the bottom line is we (eventually) got there and the 8 groups are determined.

Group A
Inter Milan
Werder Bremen
Tottenham Hotspur
FC Twente

Group B
Lyon
Benfica
Schalke 04
Hapoel Tel Aviv

Group C
Manchester United
Valencia
Rangers
Bursapor

Group D
Barcelona
Panithanikos
FC Copenhagen
Rubin Kazan

Group E
Bayern Munich
AS Roma
FC Basel
CFL Cluj

Group F
Chelsea
Marseille
Spartak Moscow
MSK Zilina

Group G
AC Milan
Real Madrid
Ajax
Auxerre

Group H
Arsenal
Shaktar Donesk
SC Braga
FK Partisan

Group G, featuring AC Milan, Real Madrid, Ajax, and Auxerre is clearly the Group of Death. That being said, the Group D matches between Manchester United and Rangers could possibly feature a group of deaths. I wish I could take credit for that joke, but sadly, I can't.

As far as my teams go, both Chelsea and Barcelona got very favorable draws. Each of Chelsea's opponents were ranked in the bottom 2 of their respective pot and 2 out of 3 opponents for Barcelona were ranked there as well, with the only exception being Pot 4's Rubin Kazan of Russia. Both Chelsea and Barcelona have opposition in Russia and may even end up having to there in very cold weather, which may not necessarily bode well, especially for Barcelona, but given that Spartak Moscow and Rubin Kazan do not match up with the quality of Barcelona and Chelsea, there is no reason why Chelsea should not be able to easily defeat Spartak Moscow at Stamford Bridge and no reason for FCB to not defeat Rubin Kazan at Camp Nou. Both teams should come in 1st place in their respective group with ease.

Because there is more coverage of them and the EPL in the U.S. and SB Nation has a fine blog for them, if push comes to shove, I want Chelsea to win over Barcelona. That being said, watching Champions League games will not be easy as once I move back to college in the next 48 hours, as I will be without Fox Soccer Channel, so I will be forced to hope that UEFA does not take down the illegally available online streams. If anyone knows any sites that legally stream Champions League games for free and is available in the United States, please let me know what they are as it will save an incredible headache for me. Thanks!

Once the full group stage schedule is known, I will make a post similar to what I did for the World Cup.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pre-Season Week 3 Schedule And CBS Announce Pairings For 2010

I do not know if I can stomach 2 more broadcasts of Don Tollefson, Hugh Douglas, and Charlie Casserly speaking of the Eagles like Rod Dibble speaks of the Washington Nationals. Where is Tony Siragusa when you actually need him?

Thursday, August 26

St. Louis Rams vs. New England Patriots 7:30
Indianapolis Colts vs. Green Bay Packers 8:00 (ESPN - Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden, SR: Michele Tafoya)

Friday, August 27

Atlanta Falcons vs. Miami Dolphins 7:00
Washington Redskins vs. New York Jets 7:00
San Diego Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints 8:00 (CBS - Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf)
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Kansas City Chiefs 8:00

Saturday, August 28

Cleveland Browns vs. Detroit Lions 5:00 (NFL Network)
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Buffalo Bills 6:30
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7:30
New York Giants vs. Baltimore Ravens 7:30
Dallas Cowboys vs. Houston Texans 8:00 (CBS - Gus Johnson and Phil Simms)
Seattle Seahawks vs. Minnesota Vikings 8:00
Tennessee Titans vs. Carolina Panthers 8:00
Arizona Cardinals vs. Chicago Bears 8:30
San Francisco 49ers vs. Oakland Raiders 9:00

Sunday, August 29

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos 8:00 (Fox - Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, SR: Pam Oliver)

Gus Johnson calling a nationally televised pre-season game for CBS? Nice touch.

Aspeaking of which, here is the depth chart of announce pairings CBS will be using this season:

Jim Nantz and Phil Simms
Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf
Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts
Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots
Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker
Bill Macatee and Rich Gannon
Don Criqui and Steve Beuerlein
Spero Dedes and Randy Cross

Essentially Ian Eagle is taking over for Dick Enberg and Spero Dedes is coming into fill the physical void of Dick Enberg retiring from football. Personally I've always been a fan of Ian Eagle's work and I am glad to see that he has been given this promotion by CBS.

Scott Barry Has Pulled This Stunt Before

I don't know when, but sometime during the year, Scott Barry was called up from the minor leagues to umpire MLB games. In the last 5 days, he has succeeded in being on the "hate list" of not just one NL East team, but 2 NL East teams. On August 19, 2010, when playing the Atlanta Braves, the Nationals had their own encounter with Scott Barry. From MLB.com's official write up of the incident.
Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and manager Jim Riggleman were ejected during the team's 3-2 loss to the Braves on Wednesday night.

The incident occurred in the eighth inning with the game tied at 2. After he struck out swinging to end the top of the eighth, Zimmerman threw his bat and helmet in disgust. He didn't say anything, but home-plate umpire Scott Barry ejected Zimmerman.

It marked the first time in his career that Zimmerman was tossed from a game. Riggleman then argued with Barry for about a minute before being tossed out himself.

[...]

According to Riggleman and Zimmerman, Barry believed the bat and helmet tossing from Zimmerman was directed at the umpire, but that wasn't the case. Zimmerman said he was simply frustrated at himself for striking out.
Let's see, player mad himself....lets frustration with self out externally....ejected by Scott Barry........Where have we seen this story before?

I mentioned above that Scott Barry was a minor league call up earlier in the year. Call me totally nutty, but I have a feeling that he is going to end up back in the minors in no time if this lunacy keeps up.

(Hat tip to The Fightins and Fightins commenter Phils Phan)

"Left Fielder, Roy Oswalt!"


Well that was a bizarre 5 hours of 20 minutes of baseball. In the bottom of the 14th inning, Ryan Howard was at the plate with 2 outs. After Ryan Howard got mad himself for swinging at a ball, 3rd base umpire Scott Barry (who just so happens to be a minor-league call up; I think I know where he will be finishing the year) took odd exception to it. 4 pitches later, Howard checked his swing, Berry said he went around, that was strike 3, Howard was visibly upset, threw his helmet, and for it was ejected by Scott Barry. By this point, the Phillies were completely out of bench players. When push came to shove, the Phillies moved Raul Ibanez to 1st base (Ibanez played some 1st base in the early 2000s, so the position is not totally new to him) and inserted their most athletic pitcher remaining, Roy Oswalt, in left field. It does not take a scientist to figure out where the 1st batter of the top of the 15th inning hit the ball.....

CLICK HERE TO WATCH HOWARD'S EJECTION, ROY OSWALT'S PLAY IN LEFT FIELD, AND RAUL IBANEZ PLAY A MEAN 1ST BASE!

The Phillies ultimately lost the game when Roy Oswalt, batting in the clean-up spot, grounded out to end the game after fighting valiantly to work the count. Tough loss, maybe one of the worst of the season. Alleviating that fact a bit, for the 9th consecutive the Phillies and Braves played on the same day, they earned the same result.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Roy Halladay Is Awesome

There are several reasons why I like Roy Halladay other than the fact that he is an amazing pitcher. For starters, he is as hard a worker as any pitcher out there. Also, he is a humble guy and a class act the likes of which you do not find every day in major American professional sports. Case and point, Roy Halladay has decided to thank all of his teammates who helped make the perfect game on May 29, 2010 possible. From the Twitter account of Delaware County Times beat writer Ryan Lawrence.

That is simply awesome. I just hope he remembers to send one to Juan Castro.....

Update: Per Ryan Lawrence, Juan Castro will get a watch, as will essentially everyone was a part of the Phillies team that day, whether they physically played in the game or not (i.e. bullpen pitchers and bench players are getting watches as well). Also, per Matt Gelb, Milt Thompson is receiving one as well. For a little more about Roy's presenting of the watches, here is an article from Gelb's blog, The Phillies Zone
The righthander purchased around 60 Baume & Mercier watches to commemorate his perfect game May 29. He gave out the watches as gifts to everyone in the clubhouse — all of the players who were on the active roster then, the entire coaching staff, all clubhouse personnel (including bat boy Rob DiClementi), training and video staff as well as public relations officials.

The watches were enclosed in brown boxes with an inscription on the front: “We did it together. Thanks, Roy Halladay.”

“Unbelievable,” Raul Ibanez said as he opened his. “Wow.”

It’s not unusual for a pitcher to reward his teammates for a milestone like a perfect game. Halladay went beyond that.

Each watch was engraved on the back with the date of the game and the linescore. Every watch was personalized, the person’s name engraved on the back of their watch.

“That’s awesome,” Ryan Howard said, as he inspected the thick instruction manual that came with every watch.

[...]

A little more than an hour before first pitch, the players sat at their lockers, finagling with the watches. Halladay, from the corner of the room, watched and smiled.

Brad Lidge shook his head in disbelief. He wasn’t even in Miami the night Halladay threw the perfect game. Instead, he was pitching in a rehab game 100 miles north in Port St. Luice, Fla.
Like I said above, simply awesome.

Is SB Nation Expanding Into Afghanistan?

Or just having a technical glitch? Okay, so it is probably the latter, but that does not make this screenshot courtesy of SB Nation's Chelsea blogger Graham MacAree on Twitter any less funny.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

NHL Network To Re-Air The Historic Flyers-Bruins Series

(Originally posted at Broad Street Hockey)

Starting this Monday, August 23, the NHL Network will be re-airing each game in the Flyers-Bruins game. While the OT games may be chopped a bit to fit it in the 2-hour window, all other games will be shown in their entirety.

The schedule is as follows:
Game 1: August 23 @ 6:00
Game 2: August 24 @ 6:00
Game 3: August 25 @ 6:00
Game 4: August 26 @ 6:00
Game 5: August 27 @ 6:00
Game 6: August 29 @ 7:00
Game 7: August 29 @ 9:00

For those who want to do nothing but kick back, relax, and watch history being made for 14 hours straight, on Sunday, August 29, NHL Network will be re-airing Games 1-5 in order starting at 9:00 AM which will directly lead into their 1st showing of Game 6 at 7 and their 1st showing of Game 7 at 9. Chances are because it is NHL-N the TSN broadcast will be used for Games 2-7 (which means Pierre), but it is still going to be worth it. My DVR is set!

Kenny Albert Knows Dedication

Speaking from experience, I can say that pulling an all-nighter and not getting any sleep at all is better than only 2 hours of sleep. Hopefully for Kenny's sake, he was able to sneak in a nap or 2 before this afternoon's game otherwise he might find himself confused as to why Derrek Lee is playing for the Atlanta Braves.

Friday, August 20, 2010

2010 Philadelphia Eagles Preview

Seeing as I am about to get into some seriously heavy packing and preparation to go to college in the next week, I figured now would be the time to put up an Eagles preview and write the NFL one once I am settled in at school next weekend.

The Philadelphia Eagles are coming into the 2010 season as an incredibly young and different team. Donovan McNabb is a Washington Redskin. Sheldon Brown has been exiled to Cleveland. Brian Westbrook is going to attempt to play a game he thinks is football in San Francisco. Kevin Curtis is off the team. Jeremiah Trotter is yet to sign his yearly contract with the Eagles. In their place, Kevin Kolb is the unquestioned starting QB. Unless Kelley Washington does the unlikely and survives the final cuts, Jason Avant and Hank Baskett, the first of whom was drafted in 2006 and the second of whom signed as an undrafted free agent in 2006 are the oldest WRs on the team. LeSean McCoy is the unquestioned starting running back. Brandon Graham will complement Trent Cole nicely at DE.

They Are Young, But How Good Are They?
Even though I mentioned young players in general in the last paragraph, this section is going to focus the Eagles WRs. DeSean Jackson is entering his 3rd year with the Eagles and has already proven he is one of the quickets WRs in the NFL. Jeremy Maclin took a few weeks to get going, but once he did, he proved he can be a starting WR. Jason Avant is the team's most polished WR and arguably the best WR; underrated does not begin to describe Jason Avant. Tim Tebow's former roommate Riley Cooper has been the hands down Eagles Training Camp darling (and not just because he is incredibly good looking). The question can they stay healthy throughout the season? If they do, these WRs, combined with underrated TE Brent Celek, will be a menace to opposing defenses everywhere.

Corn On The Kolb: When Andy Reid drafted Kevin Kolb in the 2nd round of the 2007 Draft, every draft pundit and their brother thought that Andy Reid and the Eagles FO were idiots on crack for selecting not just selecting a QB, but for a selecting this QB, Kevin Kolb, with the likes of John Beck and Trent Edwards still on the board. I have already discussed this QB draft class at length and won't get into it again, but the fact of the matter is Kevin Kolb's passes are crisp and accurate. He may have only started 2 games and came in relief in a close game once, but Kolb has loads and loads of promise. If he plays in the regular season like he has in Training Camp this year and thus far in the pre-season, Kolb is going to be mentioned among the league's top QBs in a short time.

D-FENCE!: Last year the Eagles defense was their major weakness. The Eagles realized that in the off-season and made considerable changes, including trading Sheldon Brown, drafting Brandon Graham with their top pick in the draft, drafting Nate Allen to replace Brian Dawkins, and finding loads of other potential defensive playmakers in the later rounds. Sean McDermott is also entering his 2nd year as defensive coordinator. McDermott took over following the tragic passing of the great Jim Johnson shortly before Training Camp began. To make matters worse for McDermott, the defense was ravaged with injury, with the most notable one being Stewart Bradley injuring his knee at last year's inaugural Flight Night, placing him on the shelf for the entire season. Now that the Eagles have their middle linebacker back, things can only go up from last year. Granted injuries could happen elsewhere, but I really can't stress how key it is to have Stewart Bradley back in the line up.

Wild Dog: Michael Vick is the uncontested back-up QB and will once again likely be asked to contribute to "wildcat" formations and other Andy Reid gadget plays. Last year, the Vick experiment was not a rousing success. This year, Vick is back in football shape. When the Eagles signed Vick, it has become doubtless that this is the year they wanted him for, not 2009. This is the year Vick will have a chance to be an effective part of the offense with gadget plays. He is looking more and more like the pre-prison Mike Vick with each passing day and if Andy Reid uses him right (big if, by the way), he can be a menace for opposing sides.

Is This "The Year?": No. This year is not "The Year." The Eagles will not win a Super Bowl this year. 365 days from now, Andy Reid will still be the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. I expect this year to have ups and downs. Kevin Kolb will do a fine job but at the same time he will be prone to rookie mistakes. After all, he has only started 2 NFL regular season games before. Mistakes will happen. This Eagles team is young, but I fear they are too young to compete with the likes of Indianapolis and New Orleans. Get back to me in a year, and the answer will likely be yes, yes they can compete for the whole thing. But this year, while I think the playoffs are a possibility, I am not putting my eggs in a championship basket.

(Coming up sometime in the next 2 weeks: Full NFL picks, including my pre-season stab at a Super Bowl champion)

Bleacher Report Must Die

There are very few things in the sports blogging world worse than Bleacher Report. It is the epitome of everything real sports blogging is not yet it satisfies the stereotype that every blog critic has about blogs. What Bleacher Report attempts to put out there is worser than the worst sports writing imaginable. Hell, Jay Mariotti is a better sports writer than the schmucks who write pieces on Bleacher Report. Yeah, I went there.

But while I will freely insert humor and caustic sarcasm into this post, there is nothing funny about this. The impact of Bleacher Report is not a joke, for as I'll explain later, it extends far worse than a crappy sports blogging idea that gets a lot of hits.

A complete FJM style take down after the jump.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

ESPN Announces 2010 Little League World Series Announcers

Last year many of you may remember my constant coverage of the Little League World Series. Unfortunately, and in part thanks to my vacation, I will be spending the better part of the next week and a half getting ready to return to college and therefore will not be able to put in the proper effort in closely following the LLWS that I normally do. For those into the LLWS that have not heard, there has been a major format change for this year. Instead of straight up pool play determining 2 teams from each pool to play in an 8-team knockout round, the LLWS is keeping the 4 pools but will change the format of pool play to double elimination resulting in 1 team from each pool advancing to a 4-team single elimination round consisting of the International Championship, the U.S. Championship, and the Little League World Series championship. From an ESPN press release:
For the first time, this year’s Little League World Series will feature a double-elimination format. The Little League World Series from Williamsport will begin with regional winners competing in the double-elimination round Friday, Aug. 20, including: New England (Fairfield, Conn.) vs. Northwest (Auburn, Wash.) at 1 p.m. on ESPN; Midwest (Plymouth, Minn.) vs. Southwest (Pearland, Texas) at 3 p.m. on ESPN; Caribbean (Puerto Rico) vs. Europe (Germany) at 6 p.m. on ESPN2; and Japan (Tokyo) vs. Mexico (Tamaulipas) at 8 p.m. on ESPN2. ABC will broadcast two games from the opening weekend: Southeast (Columbus, Ga.) vs. West (Waipahu, Hawaii) Saturday, Aug. 21, at 3 p.m., and an elimination game between either Mid-Atlantic (Toms River, NJ)/Great Lakes (Hamilton, Ohio) vs. Southeast/West Sunday, Aug. 22, at 2 p.m.

Action will continue daily (excluding Friday, Aug. 27) through the Little League World Series consolation game Sunday, Aug. 29, at 11 a.m. on ESPN and Little League World Series Championship.

ESPN game commentators:

Double Elimination Round – Aug. 20-26

* Gary Thorne and Orel Hershiser
* Karl Ravech and Bobby Valentine
* Jon Sciambi and Nomar Garciaparra
* Kyle Peterson and Adriana Monsalve will serve as roving reporters

Fun Fact: Hershiser and Garciaparra will achieve the broadcasting triple crown this season, contributing as game analysts to ESPN’s Major League Baseball, College World Series and Little League World Series coverage.

Single Elimination Round – Aug. 28-29

* Brent Musburger and analyst Hershiser will call the U.S., International and World Series Championships on ABC. Ravech, who will host ABC’s weekend coverage throughout the tournament, will call the third-place consolation game with Valentine.

ESPN will also televise a Little League World Series Web Gems/World Series Preview Presented by Subway, recapping the best defensive plays throughout the tournament and previewing the championship, Sunday, Aug. 29, at 1 p.m.
Last year, ESPN had Sean McDonough calling games pool play games for the LLWS behind Gary Thorne. Sean McDonough is one of my favorite announcers, but he was a fish out of water calling the Little League World Series. Sean McDonough's style of commentary did not jive well with 12-year old kids playing baseball. That being said, I can't say that ESPN is improving anything by re-inserting the walking disasters of Karl Ravech and Jon Sciambi.

Is Charlie Manuel Awesome For Post-Game Quotes? You Bet Your Sweet Ass!

I may criticize a lot of Charlie Manuel's decision making, but when it comes to post game quotes, Charlie is right up there with the best of them. Sure he does not rant and rave about everything like Ozzie Guillen, but he is so down to earth in his quotes that it is hilarious. Take for instance this video which features Jayson Werth quoting Charlie Manuel and what Werth said Charlie said when someone asked Charlie whether or not Jimmy Rollins can still hit.



"Bet Your Sweet Ass."

Reason #2356 why I love the Philadelphia sports blogosphere: It has only been a little more than 12 hours since the quote and the quote is already on a T-shirt.

Today In Funny Videos: Antonio Cromartie Remembers His Children And Andy Burton Likes Young Boys

Too unintentionally funny videos for the price of 1!

First up, it's Antonio Cromartie on last night's episode of Hard Knocks. By all accounts, Cromartie is a playa. He has 8 children, all of whom are 5 or younger and 4 of whom are currently 3-years old. Yeah. Like I said, Cromartie is a playa. But that's not the funny part. The comedy comes into play when Cromartie tries to remember the names and ages of all his kids on camera.



I guess when you have that many kids by as many women as he probably has them by and you have several cases against you, I guess kids names and ages can be a difficult thing to remember? I don't know.

Fact: There is a Swiss soccer team named BSC Young Boys. And while you can probably twist into a perverted quote just about anything a broadcaster mentions about "Young Boys," this quote by Sky Sports Reporter Andy Burton needs no twisting or taking out of context to be unintentionally gross and perverted.



Most sexual predators would probably argue that Young Boys are actually quite easy to beat.

(Hat tip to Keith's Sports Journal and Stupid Sideline Reporters)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

CSN Miscredits Domonic Brown's Titanic Blast



Once you finish laughing at CSN's graphic fail, click here to watch Domonic Brown's 440 foot double-decker for yourself. WARNING: The video linked in the previous sentence contains footage that might be too awesome for your computer to handle. Watch with extreme caution.

Tim Lincecum Shows Off Manliness To Nation: Eats Boogers

Given the way the Giants have played in the last 2 games, this scene only makes too much sense. Everyone knows Tim Lincecum has MLB's resident pothead, but now it is safe to assume that he is also MLB's resident booger connoisseur. Much to my delight and laughter, ESPN managed to capture this footage of Timmy during the Phillies 2nd consecutive thrashing of the Giants. (hat tip to Breaking Balls)



If a fellow Giant next to Lincecum saw him picking his nose and told him to "pick a winner," would a Phillie have come out of Tim Lincecum's nose?

Hardcore Tim Lincecum fans should not be surprised by this video, though. After all, this is something that Lincecum is used to doing.

Pre-Season Week 2 Schedule

I am going to be doing the pre-season schedule a little differently from here on out. Instead of just listing the National TV games, I will list all the games, and only mark those that will be aired live on National TV with some sort of TV station. I am aware that all these games (outside of Fox, CBS, ESPN, and NBC games) are shown on local affiliates and will be seen in the local markets, but I am too lazy to incorporate all those affiliates and announce teams. That being said, I must admit that I wonder what Tim Brando calling New Orleans Saints pre-season games sounds like. I can hear it now: "It's a Breesey night in New Orleans!"

August 19
Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo Bills 7:30
New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons 8:00 (Fox - Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, SR: Pam Oliver)

August 20
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Cincinnati Bengals 8:00 (Fox - Kenny Albert and Daryl Johnston, SA: Tony Siragusa)

August 21
Baltimore Ravens vs. Washington Redskins 7:00
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants 7:00 (NFL Network)
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7:30
Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars 7:30
St. Louis Rams vs. Cleveland Browns 7:30
Houston Texans vs. New Orleans Saints 8:00
New York Jets vs. Carolina Panthers 8:00
Oakland Raiders vs. Chicago Bears 8:30
Dallas Cowboys vs. San Diego Chargers 9:00
Detroit Lions vs. Denver Broncos 9:00
Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks 10:00 (NFL Network)

August 22
Minnesota Vikings vs. San Francisco 49ers 8:00 (NBC - Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth, SR: Andrea Kremer)

August 23
Arizona Cardinals vs. Tennessee Titans 8:00 (ESPN - Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tales From The London Sports World

(The author of the post just returned home after spending 2 whole nights in London.)

It does not need to be said but football (or as we dumb Americans call it, soccer) is the most popular sport in London. Rugby is also quite popular in the area, though nothing comes close to football. Though I spent the majority of time in London in the Boroughs of Westminster and London (yes, London has boroughs like NYC and yes, one of London's Boroughs is named London; as one can imagine, it is in the center of the city), where no football team is directly based, which made things quite interesting when shopping in souvenir stores because not one team's materials dominated the area. I obviously did not go into every souvenir/sports store in London, but those that I did go in did not seem to favor any one team over the other. The four teams most prominent were the EPL's 4 biggest teams: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, and Arsenal. For some reason though, of those 4, I saw the least Liverpool items. Maybe it is because their English accents are ridiculously hard to understand. Or because no one outside their own fanbase likes them.

Regardless, I managed to pick up a Frank Lampard Chelsea jersey (I am wearing it now) for a very cheap price. Before the Philadelphia Union, I was never really into club soccer that much, just the international tournaments. Philadelphia had no team. I did not have any connection with any team at all. It was just something that I could not get into. But now I have found myself being drawn to club teams. Maybe it is just that it is coming off the World Cup. Maybe it is that I have been to several European cities now and am getting a better feel for the leagues over there. Maybe it is starting with the Union that now that I have one, I am finding more and more. Whatever the reason may be, at this point, my three favorite clubs are: Philadelphia Union, FC Barcelona, and Chelsea.

Aspeaking of FC Barcelona, I saw something in London that I never thought I would ever see in London: a Lionel Messi FC Barcelona jersey. Funny thing, though, there was something even stranger for London right next that: a Lionel Messi Argentina jersey. Yes, this is London, England I am talking about.

I was hoping to watch an EPL game while I was over there, but BBC was not showing any games when I was watching TV and for some reason the hotel TV could not pick up a signal from Sky Sports on Sunday.

Enough about soccer and onto a sport that I always wanted to know more about, but never saw an actual game of it until my time in London: cricket. Having been to Europe several times, I can safely say that baseball is not popular at all there. That being said, cricket is a pretty big sport overseas that shares some similarities with baseball. There are different forms of cricket and while the 5 day matches would be a little too much for me, a recently new brand of cricket caught my attention: Twenty20 cricket. One night when there was nothing going on, myself and My Brother The Vikings Fan were channel surfing and saw a cricket match on Sky Sports. Seeing as cricket is a sport that I wanted to know more about, I wanted to watch more of it. As things turned out, it was the championship match of the Friends Provident t20 Cricket league between Somerset and Hampshire. I only later found out that this is a cricket league in its first year, but the match was thoroughly intriguing for me with an incredibly wild finish.



I can't say for sure how popular this form of cricket is or how diehard cricket fans feel about cricket games lasting only 3 hours and 30 minutes (the approximate length of a twenty20 cricket match), but the match I saw was thoroughly entertaining. Also helping was the incredible closeness of the match and the wild finish.

Something that I was very curious about heading into London was the popularity of the now annual NFL game played at Wembley Stadium. Over here, I think it is seen as more of a pain in the neck than anything else, especially for the teams and the fans of those teams playing in that game. Over in London, it is actually a pretty big deal and is fairly popular among the London faithful. No one is ever going to mistake London for Green Bay, but the NFL's marketing attempts do seem to be working. The couple of people that I talked to about this do care when the NFL makes their yearly trip to London. It garners attention, it garners media, it garners publicity, etc. People in the USA may not like or care about the NFL's game in London, but Roger Goddell's attempt to gain international attention for the NFL seem to be working.

I was hoping to see a rugby match. Never got a chance. I was also hoping to drive past Stamford Bridge or Wembley Stadium. Never got there (though unbeknownst to me at the time, I did spend some time in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea which borders the Borough Hammersmith and Fulham; the site of Stamford Bridge).

Pat Burrell: The Legend Returns To Philadelphia

Pat Burrell is a hero to some and a legend to those who have heard about/witnessed his antics. Someone who can personally attest to Burrell's awesomeness is Aubrey Huff, currently Burrell's teammate in San Francisco. Back in college at the University of Miami, Pat Burrell and Aubrey Huff were students together. When Huff first came to Miami, he was (believe it or not), a relatively shy person. But then he met Pat The Bat. And everything changed. From The Mercury News.
"After two weeks at Miami, I wanted to go home," Huff said. "So my mom flies out, trying to convince me to stay. I was living

with two seniors, and they ragged me, too. I just didn't understand all this baseball ragging nonsense. She's in my room one night and I'm sitting on my bed and she's telling me to give it another two weeks.

"Anyway, there's a knock on the door, and before I can even get off the bed, Pat comes barging in with a six-pack in his hand, dripping wet, buck naked.

"So I jumped up and shut the door. Coming from Texas, these things didn't happen. I said, 'See what I'm dealing with here, Mom?'

"She just started laughing and said, 'Actually, Aubrey, that's pretty darn funny.'

"I thought, 'My God, if my mom can laugh at this, why can't I?' "
Pat Burrell has many great stories attached to him, but that has to be one of the best.

All funny stories about Burrell aside, he will be playing his 1st regular season game at Citizens Bank Park since the 2008 World Series. Any Phillies "fan" that is at that game and does not give Pat Burrell a standing ovation should be instantly deported to the Sahara for life.

Monday, August 16, 2010

News Happens Fast When You Return Home From London: Westrbook Signs With Niners


Having watched Brian Westbrook for the better part of the last decade and having seen what he has been through the past couple of years, I can honestly that this petrifies me. He suffered 2 concussions last year and his leg has to be hanging on by a thread. Couple that with the fact that due to age and the injuries and the fact that his production has gone way down and my opinion that he can't play in the NFL anymore, and I feel justified in my fear. I like Westbrook and while I wish him success, I really wish he would have stayed out of the NFL. It just worries me that if he gets injured in the wrong spot (his brain, leg, ankle, etc.) it could lead to something serious that affects him for the rest of his life.

I'M BAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!!!!



I really should have got a phone number from that hot Australian dancer I met and danced with while on the cruise ship.......

Giants at Phillies Preview

Luckily for everyone Justin returns from the United Kingdom tonight so you're only stuck with Kris and myself for one more day. When Justin fully returns Tuesday his Philadelphia Phillies play host to my San Francisco Giants. With both teams currently tied for the Wild Card, this will be a huge mid-week series.

Both teams are currently second in their respective divisions they still have a chance to take the division crown. They also though have to fight for the Wild Card and that's what we're going to witness beginning on Tuesday.

The Giants are coming into the series just having lost two out of three games against the San Diego Padres. Their offense looked stagnate against the outstanding pitching of the Padres. Luckily the Giants will not face Roy Halladay and will instead face the Phillies pitchers they've had success against. The Giants face Roy Oswalt, Joe Blanton, and Cole Hamels. The Giants are 3-0 this year against Oswalt and have had success against both Blanton and Hamels.

Meanwhile luckily for the Giants, Tim Lincecum won't be facing the Phillies. Lincecum has struggled mightily in his last three starts and has been inconsistent all season. The Giants instead will have Barry Zito, Matt Cain, and Jonathon Sanchez face the Phillies. I'm not overly confident in Sanchez facing the Phillies, but Cain and Zito have been outstanding this season. The Zito vs. Oswalt match-up on Tuesday should be fun to watch.

Pitcher To Watch, The Bullpens: The starting pitchers for this series are solid if not spectacular. The Bullpens though will be an interesting battle. The Giants bullpen has been scary/inconsistent/great/terrible all in one season. I trust Giants closer Brian Wilson more than I trust Phillies closer Brad Lidge, but after that it's a tossup. One of the three games will definitely be a bullpen game and whoever has the best bullpen will determine the outcome.

Hitter to Watch, Buster Posey: Posey busted out of the gates for the Giants when he was finally called up in May. Posey hit so well that the Giants decided it was fine for them to trade Bengie Molina. Posey was red hot in July going on a 22-game hitting streak with 6 home runs. Posey struggled at the beginning of August, but hit a home run and scored the game-winning run against San Diego this weekend. The Giants offense revolves around Posey. He gets on base for the RBI hitters Aubrey Huff, Pat Burrell, Juan Uribe, and Pablo Sandoval. He must get on base during this series if the Giants want to have success.

The Prodigal Son Returns: Pat Burrell makes his official return to Philadelphia on Tuesday night. The former number one overall draft pick by the Phillies was let go by the team after he helped them win a World Series. Burrell has been a great pickup for the Giants since he isn't costing them anything and he single handily won a couple of games for the Giants. It will be interesting to see the type of reaction he gets when he returns on Tuesday.

This should be a fun series. Since I'm a Giants fan, I expect the worse outcome. The Giants will lose two out of three games and then will be two games behind in the Wild Card. They'll struggle down the stretch and once again miss the playoffs all because they lost this series. We Giants fans are a pessimistic bunch aren't we?

LOL Fox Sports

What happens when you take this:
and then add this?

If you guessed possibly the worst NFL announcing trio of all time—you win! It’s too bad there aren’t Pammy awards for NFL announcers. But it should make for some very entertaining live blog moments this fall.

Thanks for nothing Fox.

Follow me on Twitter @kt1000



A Strange Sports Summer Continues

Martin Kaymer of Germany won the PGA Championship Sunday. But that was far from the whole story.

With 1,200 + bunkers, golfers at Whistling Straits are bound to find one at some point during a round of golf. Unfortunately for Dustin Johnson, he found one that was so far out of the line of play, he, the CBS announcers, and the thousands of spectators had no idea he was in one. Why does this matter?

Because he grounded his club before playing his 2nd shot. On the 18th hole. Leading a major championship by 1 shot.

You aren’t allowed to ground your club in a bunker or hazard. This rule is drilled into you from almost the first time you go out and play. And had Johnson found any of the other bunkers littering the 18th hole, there wouldn’t have been a problem.

But this was different. Because of the trash and debris he and his caddy found around the ball, they thought they were clear of the bunkers. The rules official wasn’t around to correct him. So, with the crowd surrounding him, Johnson unleashed a 4-iron to the rough left of the green. He pitched on and had a putt to be a major golf champion.

And he missed.

This was ok, since Johnson was now going to playoff for the title with Kaymer, and Bubba Watson. But a rules official intercepted him before he could get off the green. The drama unfolded. And, Johnson was out of the tournament.

It was clearly marked in the local rules the players got before the tournament that all the sandy areas were bunkers. It’s a shame that Johnson and his caddy weren’t aware they were in a bunker, due to the placement of the crowd. And it’s a shame the rules official didn’t intervene, to point out that he was standing in a bunker. It is up to the player to know where he is on the course at all times, so I think most of this is on Johnson. A rules official should be close by the leader of a tournament on the last hole no matter what, in order to prevent rules confusion. But, that’s golf, and that’s life.

It was still an epic ending. Too bad no one watches golf unless Tiger is in the lead.

In sports news JFein cares about, the Phillies beat the Mets 3-1, to win 2 out of 3 in New York. This leaves them 2 back of Atlanta in the NL East, and in a tie with the Giants for the Wild Card. With the Eagles season about to start, it’s sure to be another busy September in Philadelphia.

Follow me on Twitter @kt1000

Saturday, August 14, 2010

More Sporcle Sports Quizzes!

I enjoyed putting these together last Saturday, so here are a few more. Enjoy doing these and watching sports(especially the PGA Championship) this afternoon and evening.






Is It Halloween Already?

I’m a fan of the Baltimore Orioles. So far this year has sucked. Then, the Orioles finally made the sensible move and hired Buck Showalter to be their new manager on August 2nd. Since then they are 9-2. People in Maryland are once again getting fired up about the Orioles, even to the point where more people are watching them in Washington DC than the Nationals. But, if you’re wondering why I’ve been walking around seeing orange for the last day this is why:



Hideous. If the camera adds ten pounds, the orange adds five more. And I'd love to own one of these bad boys. Go Orioles!

Follow me on Twitter @kt1000


Friday, August 13, 2010

Dodgers/Phillies addendum


For the guy who delivered the dagger tonight for the Phillies and JFein: CHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCH!



Thursday, August 12, 2010

LOL Dodgers


A 9-2 lead gone in a blink of the eye. The Phillies are the final nail in the Dodgers coffin. No way the Dodgers recover from blowing a 9-2 lead. Oh yeah, noted Phillies bitch Jonathon Broxton blew the save, lead, and game. Thanks Jon.

(Broxton vs. Phillies: A life in Pictures via Beerleaguer)

You Should Watch Hard Knocks

If you didn't watch the debut episode of Hard Knocks: Training Camp of the New York Jets I highly suggest reading my review of the first episode. If you need a single reason to watch this year's version of Hard Knocks, it's Rex Ryan. Sexy Rexy is more than enough for you to watch Hard Knocks or at least steal HBO for you can watch this show.



Sailors think Rex Ryan uses the F-Word a lot.

Follow me on Twitter at KSJ49

Meet The New York Hindenburgs Mets

It was a bad Wednesday for the New York Mets. First, a story about Johan Santana getting sued. Then, the Mets lost another game Wednesday night to the Colorado Rockies 6-2. Leading 2-1 in the 8th, Mets manager Jerry Manuel, in a show of real confidence towards his closer, elected not to use K-Rod to get the final 4 outs. Despite another Mets bullpen meltdown, the real fireworks occurred after the game:

Francisco Rodriguez was charged with third-degree assault early Thursday morning after an altercation with his father-in-law at Citi Field, the police said.

Rodriguez was in custody after the altercation, the police said, which occurred after the Mets’ 6-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies. His father-in-law, whose name was not disclosed, was taken to an area hospital with a bump on his head and an abrasion to his face.

On the plus side, this is probably the first time K-Rod has actually done a good job beating someone since signing with the Mets. It's hard to believe the Mets at one time led the NL East this season.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Summer of Jim Gray Continues


Just when we thought he was gone forever from the National Sports Media Stage, relegated from ESPN to doing radio golf, and sideline reporting for the Sacramento Kings, guess who decided to pop back into the sports media scene?

If you had Jim Gray, you win.

First it was working in the employ of LeBron James to ask the softball questions during "The Decision." Now, he's working for the Golf Channel at the PGA Championship about to take place this weekend at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

Here he got the chance to interview Corey Pavin, captain of the US Ryder Cup team, about the prospects of every one's favorite 119th ranked golfer Tiger Woods, making the Ryder Cup team. What happened? Here's the story from Steve Ellig:

In a tense exchange in the middle of the PGA Championship media center on Wednesday, Golf Channel reporter Jim Gray stuck a finger in U.S. captain Corey Pavin’s chest, called him a liar and barked, “you’re going down.”

The exchange was precipitated by a conversation between the two that took place outside the player registration area on Tuesday night. Gray reported that when when asked if he would extend a captain’s pick to struggling star Tiger Woods, Pavin said, “of course I’m going to.”

On Wednesday morning, when he learned of the report while practicing on the Whistling Straits course, Pavin denied making any such statement or that any player had secured a spot as a captain’s pick, which are not finalized until Sept. 7.

Pavin and his European counterpart Colin Montgomerie had just concluded a scheduled Ryder press conference when Gray, approached Pavin after the room had mostly emptied.

Gray, whose employer earlier had issued a statement that it was standing by the facts of his report, stuck a finger in Pavin’s chest and berated him, according to Pavin and his wife, Lisa, who claims she recorded the exchange on her cellular telephone.

“It’s all right here,” she said, waving the phone.

“I just said, ‘You’re full of ‘something,’ ” Pavin said. “I’m not going to let that happen. He got upset. His eyes were a little odd … He was just a little crazy.”

If you seek comment from Jim Gray, he said the following earlier today on Live From the PGA Championship on Golf Channel '... there is absolutely not one part of what Corey Pavin said to me that has been misquoted. And quite frankly, I happen to like Corey Pavin. I've known him an awfully long time, and in this instance, his is being disingenuous and is not telling the truth.' "

If I had to take a side in this, give me Corey Pavin. Gray is nothing more than a hack, looking to stir up any controversy, in order to get back into media relevance. So enjoy telling Kings viewers about end of game strategy and just leave the rest of us alone.

Andy Reid Orders Fan To Remove McNabb Redskins Jersey

Should have known this was going to happen. A fan showed up at Eagles camp wearing a Donovan McNabb Redskins jersey this morning. According to Les Bowen of the Philly Daily News, Eagles coach Andy Reid asked security to tell a fan standing on the Eagles sideline to remove the McNabb jersey.

The fan, Jim Devlin, is a friend of a guest of the team and was granted access.
Eagles fan Jim Devlin, of King of Prussia, was directed to remove the Donovan McNabb Redskins jersey that he was wearing on the Eagles sideline at training camp this morning by security.
Devlin said that security told him that coach Andy Reid wanted the jersey removed. A team spokesman said he was unaware whether the directive came from Reid.

Devlin was on the sideline, not in the stands, on a guest pass, provided by friend Frank Deutchki, of Schwenksville, who is with him. A team spokesman said guests with sideline passes are supposed to be screened at the gate.

Devlin was surprised but also really angry. He was curious what other fans' reaction would be so he also wore the jersey to Sunday's Phillies-Mets game.

Deutchki now has the jersey in a bag, with Devlin wearing a red T-shirt.
Devlin said he thought Reid would be more concerned with what was happening on the field rather than on the sidelines.
 I'm actually going to take Reid's side on this one. This Devlin guy was a guest and he should abide by the rules of Reid and the Eagles no matter how dumb those rules might sound. And let's see what happens to this idiot when he wears that jersey at the Phillies-Mets game. I'm sure he won't get a warm reception. 

(Sports By Brooks via Philly Daily News)

Follow me at KSJ49 on Twitter or read my blog at Keith's Sports Journal

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This Is Still The Major Leagues


4.1 IP 6 H 6 ER 2 BB 4 K 1 HR’s allowed

That is Stephen Strasburg’s stat line tonight against the Marlins. This is the first time Strasburg has had to face a team for a second time. What did he do the first time against the Marlins? 6 scoreless innings.

Welcome to the Majors, kid.

Follow me on Twitter @kt1000

The Wideout Next Door Is (Maybe) Back


This is (mostly) a blog about Philly sports. I am not a Philly sports fan. But, in honor of JFein, who should be well on his way to a 0 for week with the English and Irish lasses; here’s a short update on Eagles training camp, courtesy of Bleeding Green Nation.

http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2010/8/9/1613883/eagles-release-first-depth-chart

In short I know nothing about any of these guys, except for Hank Baskett. Not only did he probably cost the Colts last year’s Super Bowl, but also famously married one of The Girls Next Door.

For JFein’s sake, let’s hope Baskett makes the team, so he can continue to post pictures of Kendra.

Follow me @kt1000 on Twitter

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tim Tebow Officially Becomes Friar Tuck

As a kid I loved Robin Hood. I used to watch the animated movie "Robin Hood" all the time. If you remember any of the "Robin Hood" movies or folklore you will remember Friar Tuck. Friar Tuck is a man of the cloth who is one of Robin Hood's Merry Men. If you remember all of this, then you certainly will remember Friar Tuck's haircut. The good friar was bald on top with a rim of hair going around his head.

I bring this up because of what happened to Tim Tebow over the weekend. Tebow, who is wildly known as a religious man, was given a Friar Tuck haircut as a part of rookie hazing.


Tebow claims his teammates gave him a "Statue of Liberty" haircut. Whatever he wants to call it, I like it. I like it because it wasn't above him to be ridiculed with a haircut. His teammates wanted to haze him and he let them. Dez Bryant could take a lesson from Tebow.

(I'm Keith from Keith's Sports Journal. You can also follow me at KSJ49 on Twitter.)

Death At A Sporting Event

Tragedies are not uncommon in Sports. Athletes have died on the field of play more often than you would think, and their deaths become markers of remembrance for fans. Famous examples include Ray Chapman, Chuck Hughes, Hank Gathers, and Bill Masterton. Their deaths helped to remind us that it really is just a game that they play, and to take maximum joy in watching these athletes perform.

There was another death in sports over the weekend.

And now you must be wondering, why haven't I heard of this? Well that's because it took place in the sports mecca of Heinola, Finland, a town located 86 miles north of Helsinki. And its claim to fame, (besides a closed down plywood mill) is the World Sauna Championship.

Well, it was its claim to fame. The 2010 edition will be the last Sauna Championship ever held, due to the death of semifinalist Vladimir Ladyzhensky.(warning: very graphic photos at the link) Also, here's a video of the competition(may need to translate if you don't understand Norwegian)

According to Finn Timo Kaukonen (who I guess is the winner):

"I was in two rounds in the semi-finals, and I already have red eyelids and blisters on your fingers. It does not feel good to go in there, but I'll bite your teeth together, and then we'll see what happens."


Incidentally, this event is described in Rick Reilly’s recent book about participating in weird sports. And it’s an event only a resident of Scandinavia could love: for a person to sit in a room, as water gets splashed onto hot rocks ratcheting up the humidity, trying to smoke you out. I don’t know why anyone would want to do that, to endure the pain of blasted skin and eye blisters.
But I guess people will always want to push themselves to extreme levels, so one must salute these competitors for going all out to win.

As for Mr. Ladyzhensky, at least he went out doing something he liked to do. RIP Vladimir.

But I’ll never look at a sauna the same way again.