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Friday, April 18, 2014

I miss all the good stuff

I have a knack.
It's a knack for missing lots of things at the ballpark that I wish I didn't.
Last year,I stayed home to watch the NFL Draft and missed the argument of the year between a grapher and the then-clubhouse manager for the Suns,which has become legendary since.

This year,it looks like I missed another as I went home from a Suns game vs Lakewood after graphing pre-game and then Rachel was ready to go after two innings of some pretty bad fielding by the Blue Claws
Apparently.our great friend Derreck was telling the truth about City Councilman Kristin Aleshire's position on the stadium for the Hub City and someone didn't like it.
Aleshire's position has been to try to be on every possible side of the position,so I have a special place for him in the echelon of politicians that are basically full of it.

Derreck had some extra fuel in him on this night and made clear how much he disliked Aleshire's routine-read alcohol.
Make that loudly clear.
It was pretty clear to me when he talked to me on the phone that he had gassed up plenty at the tank,but if you are going to serve cheap beer,fans that like to imbibe are going to do so.
Mr. Aleshire's brother was in attendance,from what I've been told. and didn't care for the opinion or likely how it was told.
However, (perhaps smartly,all things considered),he didn't approach Derreck,but instead went to someone from the team.
Likely a good decision,if not the most courageous,but it was Big Tony (Suns concession worker) that talked to Derreck about settling down.

I don't know if this is how it went as I wasn't there,but Derreck hasn't lied to me yet,so its likely to be generally correct.
These things happen,I suppose and had I been there,I wouldn't have been drinking, I could have stated my opposition to the political maneuverings of Kristin Aleshire and done it in a way that no one could have used alcohol as an excuse.
It's unfair to hold anyone accountable for the actions of a sibling,but considering the role that someone's sibling had in a civic institution leaving town-I might either A) stay away or at least B) keep it quiet that I'm there,if I truly didn't want trouble.

In the end,one thing cannot be denied- Once again,I miss the good stuff.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cleaning of the inbox-Non Sports edition

More of the inbox cleaning as the pile just keeps piling higher,so we'll try to get to work on it today!

David Letterman announced his retirement from the late night CBS slot effective sometime next year.
Letterman was always my choice in the late night wars,although I must admit that I rarely watch the talk shows anymore.
Letterman was an icon to my generation and look for a post before his retirement on his impact on my teenage years with his groundbreaking NBC program.
Plus it gives me an excuse to use a Kenny the Gardener video :)

Ryan sends me me this article from NPR on the former Andy Warhol star "Baby" Jane Holzer and what became of her after Warhol.
To be honest,Ryan is much more of a Warhol enthusiast than I,but I remember Holzer better from her almost comatose singing appearance on Hullabaloo.

Looks like another dwarf planet found outside of Pluto.
As New Horizon gains ground on its 2015 arrival at Pluto,it's going to be fun to see just what we'll see in the Kuiper Belt.

Goodbye to comedian David Brenner,who died last month at the age of 78.
Brenner was once a popular comedian,who held the record for the most guest hosting appearances on the Tonight Show and was considered a future candidate to host the show when Carson retired.
Brenner attempted his own late night show,which failed and his star began to dim thereafter...

Goodbye to Jim Lange at the age of 81.
Lange was best known as host of the Dating Game,which as a young child,I liked on half school days on ABC.
Between the banter and innuendo,which was beyond me,the catchy theme music and the Lange goodbye kiss at the conclusion of the show,the Dating Game was a kitschy watch in the 70's and ran through the 80's,although without the same success.
There were a few hosts of the show after Lange,but the show is best remembered with Lange at the helm with the wide polyester lapeled suits that one could land a plane on!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Annual Polls

Time for our annual polls on what you like,so I can do a better job as your humble blogger.

One poll can be answered with as many things as you like to see here,while the other is what you like to see here most.

Thanks for the help!

Brownie Bits

A few words on the Browns as we get closer to the draft.

The huge elephant in the room is the Browns matching the offer sheet of the Jacksonville Jaguars to center Alex Mack.
The gamble by Ray Farmer in transitioning Mack rather than franchising him paid off as Mack came at a cheaper 18 million for the first two years of the contract than the transitional tag.
Mack has a no trade clause until 2017 and the team can't use either tag on Mack if he opts out after two years.

Still,the gamble paid off and one of the better centers in the league remains as a mainstay on the offensive line in Cleveland.
The most fortunate thing about that is that the Browns will not have address center in the draft and can use picks better needed elsewhere.
I think Alex Mack is worth the value of the contract,but the Browns need to show signs of turning the corner as Mack can elect to leave after two years.
By that time,Mack will be 29 and will likely to be looking to play for a winner rather than cash in.

The Browns also signed a blocking fullback today as former Bengal Chris (Heartbreak Hotel ) Pressley to a deal.
The former Wisconsin Badger is a six year veteran,but missed most of last season after injuring his knee,but brings the type of blocker that Cleveland has missed from the backfield since the long ago Lawrence Vickers left for Houston.
Pressley's presence should be a huge help for Ben Tate on short yardage plays and considering that Pressley weighs in at near 250 pounds,he might get an occasional carry himself.
Love this signing as the Browns haven't invested in a physical blocking fullback in years and it's long been my opinion that you need to run the football in the AFC North.

Wrapping up with my hopes in order for the Browns first pick in the draft.

1) Sammy Watkins WR Clemson
2) Khalil Mack LB Buffalo
3) Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina
4) Blake Bortles QB Central Florida
5) Jake Matthews T Texas A&M

Peter DeBoer to stay as Devils coach

I didn't watch the finale' of the New Jersey Devils against the Boston Bruins as I was graphing the Lynchburg Hillcats and Frederick Keys (I also missed the final round of the Masters,which didn't especially please me either),but I plan to watch what could be the last game of Martin Brodeur as a Devil with Rachel today.
If I can do that,I'll have some notes on the game later today.

The bigger news is this-Lou Lamoriello called a hasty press conference between periods to announce that Peter DeBoer would be returning as head coach for the 2014-15 season to fulfill his contract which expires after that season.
Rumors were abound that had the Devils firing DeBoer or having the Maple Leafs interested in hiring him for next season.
DeBoer himself had stated to the media that he was unsure of his status and of course the media played off of that report.
The Devils rarely (as in almost never) discuss management decisions or maneuvers and this says just how the team took the chaos.

I'll be doing a look back on the season in a few days,but I will say this-I think this is a mistake.
For all the players "we like Pete" talk,this team needs a new voice.
DeBoer plays favorites,which all coaches on all levels do,but he does it in a way that hinders the objective-winning games.
It seems more important to have his favorites play than to develop the bigger picture.
The botched handling of Adam Larsson,the way that Jon Merrill can screw up and play forever and Eric Gelinas can make a mistake and sit for two games (I think all three need to be playing) and the general lack of improvement in the younger players make me believe that Peter DeBoer is not the right coach for a team that needs to get younger.

As I'll detail more and yet another future post,the New Jersey Devils were the oldest team in hockey this season.
When you have the oldest team in hockey,you expect to be a serious title contender or at minimum a playoff team and to miss the postseason two years in a row,that says something to me.
This will need to get younger and with a coach that seems to struggle with younger players,this is very likely a mistake.
Some retooling is needed in the off-season and I would hate to see players brought in have problems adapting to what DeBoer runs for a system.
One would have to believe that a slow start would doom DeBoer,but that would leave another season of playoffs in jeopardy and the franchise cannot afford that result.

One thing is for sure-Lou Lamoriello is gambling that Peter DeBoer is the man that can return the team to the postseason.
He just may be rolling the dice on more than just one season with this decision...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cleaning out the inbox

The inbox is stuffed.
Stuffed to the point of not covering it all in one post,so here is the most recent notes of well,note with more to come later this week...

I love Sriracha Hot Sauce.
I'm a Frank's guy in general,but the Sriracha is awesome on meatballs and breaded chicken,so I'm a big fan.
Apparently,Sriracha is having problems with the city of Irwindale,California and it could (emphasis on could) wind up being an issue with making the sauce!
The Irwindale factory is the only American factory that makes it,so an already not cheap sauce (3.50 a bottle) could be even more expensive and harder to find.
This link will tell you plenty that you need to know about Sriracha.

We blogged recently about the retirement of Chico Resch from the New Jersey Devils television broadcasts.
Randy Miller did this interview with Chico that is pretty wide ranging and a good read.

Diane Firstman raps out an article on good ol' Strat O Matic baseball.
I always love these types of articles as they remind me of a lonely little boy that fell in love with a game that always gave back.

ESPN gets another mention with this article on the long list of failed Chicago Cubs managers.
That is a tough job that has chewed up both good and bad managers,so a history of these fellows can be both interesting and funny at the same time.

I haven't been much of a NASCAR follower for quite a while now,but what made NASCAR fun was the old fashioned good ol' boys that beat on each others cars and often each other.
This post on one of them in Donnie Allison caught my eye and it proved to be quite a throwback to the days when the sport was far from corporate...

The work on Cleveland's League Park continues as the original home of the Indians is being fixed up.
I still want to see this when it's all finished and thanks to my favorite Aunt Becky for the note.

There was one particular link in the inbox that I was going to add,but I think I want to make that a feature post.
There are still plenty to clean from the inbox,so look for another inbox dumping of goodies later this week...

Boxing Challenge:Pacquiao defeats Bradley

In Las Vegas,Nevada,Manny Pacquiao took a unanimous decision over Timothy Bradley to avenge his controversial loss to Bradley and regain a welterweight title belt.
I was at work,so I haven't seen it yet,so no scoring from me.
Pacquiao is expected to make his next appearance against the winner of the May fight between Juan Manuel Marquez-Mike Alvarado.
If Marquez wins as expected,there should be a fifth Marquez vs Pacquiao bout.

In the boxing challenge,I earned two points for selecting Pacquiao by unanimous decision,while R.L. earned one for selecting Manny to win.

That tightens the boxing challenge standings to 16-15 in favor of R.L with a tripleheader from Washington D.C. on Showtime next Saturday.