Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cleaning out the inbox

The inbox filled so quickly this week that we have to dump out the contents faster than usual.
I'll keep this to sports or the facsimile of and get to more issues outside the sports realm....

Winchester Va has yet to give up the ghost of attracting the Hagerstown Suns as they are discussing a plan to build an area that would include a new ballpark,restaurants,shopping etc at one of a few proposed locations as part of a public/private partnership between the Suns and the city of Winchester.
Hagerstown is still going ahead with their work on a new downtown facility to be funded as well and Mayor Bob Bruchey says that Hagerstown's work is further ahead than Winchester's, have a meeting planned for April 17th that will include state and county representatives and will take knowledge of the stadium study to the next level.
I appreciate the work that Mayor Bruchey and some others have done,but there is much left to do.
Hopefully the city/county/state can use the current threat of losing the team to get the proposed new stadium and lock the team to the proposed lease that would keep the team here for as many as 30 years.

One thing that has been asked of me in person and through email is why I have not been harder on the Suns during this entire process and I am answering that as simply as I can-I cannot blame them.
I can wish that they would not leave and I can reserve the right to criticize them eventually,but for now I can not say that I would do much differently than them.
They want a better facility to make more money,which makes sense as this is a business.
This has been a process that is older than Bruce Quinn's ownership group as the team has been through three previous owners that asked for the same thing-better facilities to make more money by providing a nicer facility for the customer.
Refusals by some of these politicians through the years is what has put this in the must-win situation as of now,not the team.
The various governments involved have finally watched their patchwork on the Muni and their luck run out because they have finally run into someone that is looking to the future and is tired of the status quo.
Whether the better future is in Hagerstown or Winchester is debatable,but the Quinn group is calling the bluff and pushing the chips into the table to see what plays out,
I may or may not like the end result,but I cannot blame the Suns for refusing to run in place....

Mike Treadwell sends me this interesting note of someone from the past of the Hagerstown Suns as Bob Flannery has reemerged from a hockey respite to return to the SAL with the Augusta Greenjackets.
Flannery was the GM here for the 2009-2010 season before leaving after Mandalay Sports sold the team to the current ownership group led by Bruce Quinn.
I got along pretty well with Bob after a contentious relationship with the previous GM Will Smith and thought he was pretty fair even when I wrote things that he may not have agreed with.

The Cleveland Browns did OK with the NFL compensation picks as the league added four picks to the Browns total with two picks in the sixth round and two more in the seventh.
The gift was given because the Browns lost more free agents than they signed in the 2011 off-season.
The Browns should pick up some more for the 2013 draft using that as the benchmark.
Cleveland has a total of 13 picks in the draft with multiple picks in the first,fourth,fifth,sixth and seventh.

The Devils recently went to Pittsburgh and lost,but I wanted to use this picture from the Fire and Ice blog by Tom Gulitti of the "Igloo",the former home of the Penguins that is being demolished....
The row of blocks on the inside is the former press box area.
Gulitti is the Devils beat writer for the Bergen Record and does a great job for that paper...

I always have liked John Calipari going back to his days at UMass although I have never liked Kentucky and I have conversely never been a fan of Rick Pitino,but I am hoping that the Wildcats lose in the Final Four to Pitino's Louisville team or the Ohio State-Kansas winner.
Because Calipari is the foremost practitioner of the "one and done" mercenary team in the college game today.
I am wary of going as far as Chuck Klosterman goes here,but Klosterman raises many valid points and I would not be a bit against the NBA raising their age limit another year and making player stay two years in college.
It makes sense to me as the college game improves with continuity,while the NBA gets a more polished player.....

Sorry to hear of the death of Joe Blanchard,who was the promoter of wrestling in San Antonio as well as the father of Four Horseman member Tully Blanchard at the age of 83.
Blanchard owned Southwest Championship Wrestling that was based out of San Antonio in the seventies through its folding in the mid-eighties as well as being a star in the ring in Texas after leaving the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos in the mid-fifties....

I write a decent amount on pro wrestling here,although almost all is about the past and reminiscing about the old school style.
I also do not watch the current product at all,because it is too much talk and not enough wrestling.
Too much talk and not enough payoff for the investment.
With Wrestlemania coming on Sunday,some of the sports online press is paying attention.
Bill Simmons' Grantland looks at the current trend of talk being far more important than action and it seems pretty reasonable to me.
The article also takes a quick skim at the evolution of the "smart fan" from trading VHS tapes to the eventual beginning of the "shoot interview" age....

Grantland also writes about Wrestlemania III and the 25th anniversary of what would be the likely choice as the biggest mainstream wrestling show of all time.
The Hulk Hogan-Andre the Giant is still talked about to this day despite the match being pretty horrible although the Randy Savage-Rick Steamboat match holds up well to this day as a classic encounter.
The article also looks at the WWF/E's annual attempt to equal Wrestlemania III and how it is fated to fall short.
I have not watched the card in years,but something tells me that I might be watching it soon..:)

Look for the non-sports inbox cleaning coming up over the next few days...

Photo Credits;
Igloo:Bergen Record

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