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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Shake Up, Nut Up, & Push Up: The Latest Installment in My Summertime Smattering Series...


Well, I asked the Red Sox to pick a direction. And it seems, via a bevy of deadline deals, that they've answered the call. Still not 100% certain that they're going in a Rooch-approved, win now (as in next year) direction. But that's a question we can't even start to ask if they've answered or not until next year's trading deadline...

Yeah, it's more or less just as muddied as it was before, but for a whole new slew of reasons. Which I'll get touch on in just a bit. I'll  also have some hot takes on the state of golf before the PGA Championship, and an in depth look at whether or not Paul George is actually a racehorse. Pretty shitty name, if that's the case. But I'll get to that. All the while sprinkling in reminders that my high school and (especially) collegiate experiences were even better than the ones you've managed to embellish. That's right. Prepare to be humbled, bitches. OR at least mildly annoyed at my John Football-like sense of self importance...

So read on, my damies. And enjoy the latest edition of my Summertime Smattering...


Boston Red Sox
Overall: 49-63 (10 games out of AL Playoffs)
Last Week: 1-4

I wanted decisive action, and I got it. The question now becomes, what do the Red Sox do with their sudden glut of prospects? Because the answer better be that they trade them for more established stars. At least one of whom is a top of the rotation caliber pitcher (I'm 50/50 at best in terms of Lester's return). AND/OR use the payroll flexibility their presence (they being the youngsters) creates to add those same elite players via free agency. Which they more or less have to do, given the market and management's self imposed expectations. But either way, the waiting game has definitely begun. And, like I said. There's a solid chance we won't know what actually began to happen with these deadline deals for nearly a year...

I like the bold moves, though. And I like taking a chance on a guy like Cespedes, who has a great opportunity to blossom into one of the best right handed power hitters in the game, despite some of his obvious limitations. But there's still a long way go in order to build this team back up to the level it unexpectedly reached just under a year ago this month...

Oh, and Red Sox chairman, Tom Werner, might be the next MLB commissioner, for some reason. So there's that, too...


*When I was a junior in high school ('99-'00), I participated in a high school basketball game in which the following went down:

-Center on my team, after refusing to get back on defense, finds himself ahead of the pack for an attempt at a fast break layup. He was probably thinking dunk, but then he took a glance in his rear view mirror...

-Other team's best player, scrappy in nature, hustles back to attempt to block the shot.

-Center up-fakes, other guy goes flying over his head, center goes up anyway, other kid goes ass over tea kettle (An expression I use but don't really understand. Which is never good), and ends up landing squarely on his neck after falling from about 6 feet or so off of the ground.

-Center misses shot, other kid lies motionless on the floor. Crowd goes silent. The bad kind, like you think someone may have just died. Not the respectful  kind, where someone had died a week before...

-Amid the silence, and the wait for the paramedics, an older gentleman in the stands begins having a FREAKING HEART ATTACK. And this was a REAL heart attack. Not someone having a panic attack because of the crazy shit he'd just seen.

-Players are cleared off the court, and taken to their respective locker rooms (thankfully, they had those delicious Flintstone push up pops waiting in the locker room to help us "keep our energy up". I had yet to play, but since others didn't seem as enthused, I ate 4. The purple ones were the jump off. You know, the ones with Dino on the sleeve.)

-Other kid gets carted off, waving to the crowd to prove he can move (he was OK, and we finished the game). And the older man got taken to the hospital as well. Pretty sure he survived? Yeah, probably should have looked into that before I launched into this. Either way, it doesn't really change my point. Which is this...

I COULD HAVE BEEN A YOUTUBE STAR SOMEHOW IF IT HAD EXISTED THEN AND SOMEONE HAD CAUGHT ALL OF THAT ON TAPE AND I SOMEHOW WEASELED MY WAY INTO THE VIDEO. HOPEFULLY WHILE CLUTCHING A PURPLE PUSH POP...NO HOMO!

No, but seriously. My point is that crazy shit happens on the regs during sporting events. The least of which being broken bones and snapped tendons. Yes, injuries like the one suffered by Paul George are as grotesque and unfortunate as they come. His being so young and the injury so graphic. But, crying teammates? #PrayForPaulGeorge trending on Twitter and Facebook? Come on now, folks. Act like you been there. I mean, dude's not a racehorse. It's not like just because he broke his leg that they're going to take him out back and shoot him...

...unless...



Hilarious, but no. That's not going to be Paul George's fate just because he snapped his leg. Because he's not a horse. And human beings that break a leg usually go on to live completely normal lives. Obviously sucks if the injury derails his career, but it's hardly something to shed any tears over unless he happens to be your blood. Sorry, but anything more and I'd be forced to label you "soft". A little cruel, perhaps. But it's FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!

#STOPTHEPUSSIFICATIONOFAMERICA

There ya go. THERE'S your hashtag.


*I read something on Twitter, this week, that struck me as profound as I thought it was unfortunate. And it was this, gem. From Ben Koo, over at Awful Announcing:


It's a sad commentary, but he's spot on. And I don't blame the media so much as I "blame" the casual fan. It's back to my Gretzky Theory, again. In that Tiger basically ruined it by being so damn good. I mean, did you know that 1 golf course is closing in this country every 48 hours and Jack Nicklaus can't even get work as a designer in the US? Yeah, it's true. Heard it on the HBO. And it's not necessarily a direct reflection on the economy, either. With places like Top Golf (It's like driving range rock'n'bowl. Looks like the jump off) actually thriving in the so called recession...

It's a shame, too. Because the Tour has no shortage of great players OR great characters. I mean, just the last 24 hours I've heard a great interview with John Daly, on the Dan Patrick Show, and seen this fantastic Funny Or Die clip featuring the already legendary comedic stylings of Jason Dufner...

Great, right (you were supposed to stop and watch that Dufner video)? And this is to say nothing of Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, the career makeover/resurgence of Sergio Garcia, and all the young guys (led by Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth) who are bringing just as much skill as they are style and exuberance. And if celebrity gossip is your thing, there's even Dustin Johnson! Coked out and taking on Tour wives two at a time...allegedly...

Hey, whatever. It's just good times, all around. And I suggest you get to watchin'. Starting this weekend with the PGA Championship. Great characters, great action, great locales, guys doin' blow off of Wayne Gretzky's daughter (probably). This sport has it all! Now get back on board, dammit!

And stop whining about how Tiger Woods isn't as good as he used to be. He'll never be that good again. But that doesn't mean that golf can't be just as enjoyable to watch. Even if it may be for slightly different reasons. Because, hey. Those other reasons are figuring to be pretty damn entertaining for quite some time...

We liked to call this "Wednesday"...
No, but seriously. There's a chance I'm in there, somewhere...
*Speaking of legendary entertainment, did you hear how Syracuse was recently named the #1 party school in America? I'm sure you did. What's weird about the list, though. Is that schools like UMASS, URI, UCONN, Bridgewater, and UNH are nowhere to be found! Weird, because I've spent the last decade listening to people tell stories about those places EVERY TIME I ever opened my mouth about how the social environment up in Syracuse was as unique and ideal as you could have possibly wanted...

Between the combination of seclusion (from everyone else) & proximity (to all our fellow students, and the local student only bars), the omnipresence of Greek Life, and the fact that most of the kids up there were just chipping away at their trust funds. I don't think it's hard to imagine that some rather good times were had. Yeah, but no. I get it. SNOOP DOGG WAS AT UMASS, GUY! Yes, yes. Very impressive...

So, yeah. Get over it, people. I had a better time, and you have the better job. You can't have it both ways! Unless you actually graduated from Syracuse. In which case you probably could, and in all likelihood do...
And I'm DEFINITELY in there, somewhere...

But, yeah. You spent 4 years partying in dorms and shitty apartments, where you had to drunk drive your ass miles at a time just to meet up with peeps, and it should be more obvious than ever at this point that I most definitely did NOT. So, yeah. Props where props are due, Teds. I helped shape that environment, dammit. And I DESERVE YOUR RESPECT!

Now, as you were with your wife, house, and 401K...


*Ending on a somber note. I was saddened to learn yesterday that one of my favorite sites for sports journalism, Sports on Earth, will cease to exist in it's current form. Their fantastic stable of writers provided me with too many enjoyable pieces to begin to mention here, and now they're gone because they just couldn't compete. Probably got slaughtered by Bleacher Report, too. You know, because people can't read...

Whatever. It's a sad that such a worthy site couldn't survive, while other clearly inferior sites continue to thrive. But that's what it is. You need slideshows and lists, not words and information. OR at the very least you need a powerful engine driving people to your content, a la Grantland and FiveThrityEight. Which Sports On Earth never had. It was like the News Radio of it's time. Great content, but was never given a real great chance to blossom and succeed...

RIP Sports On Earth. You were a welcomed oasis in a sea of trash, and you will be dearly missed. Oh, and your writers deserved better than learning of their firing on Twitter. Even if that is about as par for the course as that industry gets...


*Oh, OK. I can't end on a somber note. So here's Kate Upton and boyfriend Justin Verlander interacting at a Tigers' game:


Wow. What a catch...


And like that, I'm gone. Enjoy the rest of your week, friends. And I'll catch you next time. Be good...


#BAGSMUNMAN

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