Are You Ready for Some Baseball!

With the Baseball Season starting this Sunday Night, the last day of March in the year 2013, the question has to be asked “Are You Ready for Some Baseball.”

Well if I had to answer the question now, I who say No! Could it be the Early Spring Snow Storms, where 13.5 inches of snow was dumped onto my driveway just four days ago? So, how can I get so excited about a game played on lush green fields while my back is hurting from shoveling all that snow off my driveway? Or just maybe I have watched too many Spring Training Games on the MLB Network and watched the World Baseball Classic that I am already burnt out on baseball? I don’t know but I can honestly say that I am ready for spring to officially start, so does this mean I’m ready for baseball? Again I don’t know because I’m still in March Madness Mode and looking forward to the NFL draft. Yes. The NFL Draft; the NFL has turned their sport with the least played games into a year round interest sport with the Combine work outs in Indy, Free Agents Signing, the Now, Three Day Draft Event, and the Spring Training Minatory Workout Camps. And then it starts all over with the Preseason Training Camps, Preseason Games, the Season, the Playoffs and then the Super Bowl.

Now answer the pending question Are You Ready for Some Baseball? Well, with all the money being spent in LA on players that may or may not be worth it, that the pressures of World Series or Bust for the Dodgers and Angles may have me ready. With the rumors of up and coming teams that might bring the excitement back to once Great Cities/Teams like the Seattle Mariners and the Kansas City Royals. This could get me ready with the young teams having the ability to catch the Older over Paid Teams like Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees. So that maybe the reason I might be ready for baseball as I am a Long Time Yankee Hater and seeing their Senior Citizen Players fail and end up spending more money to bail them out of a jam even though the Yankee Front Office as put a ceiling on spending. What a joke, we all know once the losses start piling up and the Yankees Fans start blowing up the Sports Radio Air Ways the bank vault will once again open.

Can I really be ready for baseball for the reason seeing another team change leagues like the Milwaukee Brewers did a few years back going from the American League to the National League? But, this time we have a National League Team going to the American League and we’ve learned the payroll is staying in the Owners Pockets by not even paying his 25 man rooster the amount A-Rod is being paid to set out and rehab his surgical repaired hip, which is again another attempt to FOOL the paying fans that the Front Office is really trying to put a Winning Team on the Field.

I might be ready to see if All the Major League Teams will allow their none injured players play the full 162 game schedule. I hate to say it but the Washington Nationals after setting a pitch count limit and setting one of their best pitcher in 2012 season just before the playoffs it just may back fire on them in two ways. One is I can see the Nationals not making the playoffs in 2013 and the second is their so-called protected pitcher will again have arm troubles.

Well, most of the snow is melted and temperatures are returning back to normal temps for this time of year so, I guess I am somewhat ready for baseball. So, there I have answered the question it took me some time but what else do I have to do. Oh, the Elite Eight Games and onto the Final Four! Sorry, baseball just not ready yet!

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NASCAR Gen6 Car Review 1st Quarter

Taking into the fact there are thirty five NASCAR Races with the final ten being Chase Races I have made a decision to break the first twenty five races into quarters and review each quarter then the break the Chase Races into another review at the end of the season. Stating this NASCAR has finished the 1st Quarter of the Regular Season. So, let us take time a look back and review what we have observed.

    In previous Blogs I have reviewed each race and I have agreed with NASCAR, Drivers & Teams and along with most of the Talking Heads that the styling of the New Gen6 Car is a hit with all. In the past two years the NASCAR, Teams and the Three Manufacturing Groups have worked hard to get the product on the track looking more like the product on the showroom floors. There once was a feeling in NASCAR of Win on Sunday, Sale on Monday and with this Gen6 Car that feeling is returning. The changes are apparent to all the fans since most fans are very knowledgeable about their sport. Although the fans understood the reason for safety and competitive balance NASCAR had to change the Gen4 Car and went to the Car of Tomorrow (COT Car) they did not like the Wing or the box look. The Wing went away but the look of a tank stayed. So, anything would have been an improvement over the COT and the Gen6 is a major improvement but still kept. the safety features of the COT Car. So with this I have given the Gen6 Car a Rating of an A. Couldn’t be any higher for the reason if NASCAR can change the side panel on the trunk to clear polyurethane plastic shield why couldn’t NASCAR change the Spoiler to clear polyurethane plastic and give that feeling of no spoiler while allowing the following driving better visibility.

    Now let us review the performance of the New Gen6 Car in the first five races of the 2013 season. The races in FACT have been BORING if you only just take in the Gen6 Car to factor or base the review of the 1st Quarter. So, my rating of the New Gen6 Car in Quarter Number 1 is an F.

    The Daytona 500 saw limited passing and a Lot, I mean A LOT of follower the leader racing with the only passing for the lead was which driver was going to be the first out of the pits. Not until the final laps with a caution did the fans see any excitement. But the pass for the lead and win was done in the pits. Rating on Daytona was an F.

    Then NASCAR went to Phoenix and the dreaded “Aero Tight” word showed up. With drivers trying to answer the reporter’s questions politically but Denny Hamlin said in his post race interview; “The Gen6 car is Aero Tight. And I had to be in a defensive mode all race and that was very hard to do, for over three hundred laps. The left side tires where so hard you could have not changed them all race and that’s not right” and that statement and others from Denny was too much of the Truth for NASCAR so, NASCAR fined Denny. But here are a few of the things other drivers stated. Dale Earnhardt Jr. said in his post race interview the Spoiler was to big making it hard to pass and Brad Keselowski the current NASCAR Champion remarked it is the best race car I have ever driven by itself but in a pack it is the hardest car I have ever driven. Finally Matt Kenseth stated can’t get close enough to even pass. I gave the Subway 500 at PIR a rating of F due to the fact to very little passing for the lead.

    Lets’ move onto Las Vegas, a race was effected by Mother Nature with a Test Practice on Thursday to help the teams learn more about the Gen6 car was followed by a rain out of race practice on Friday leaving the teams in a daze with sunshine on Sunday on a bumpy and slick track. The action on the track was not due to a Good Gen6 Car but from teams guessing on the setup with a few teams making the correct changes while most teams struggled. Las Vegas Race Review was a C that high of a rating was because of Mother Nature not the Gen6 car.

    Now to spring race in Bristol “Thunder Valley”. After repaving and a change to “Progressive Banking” the track lost its appeal and fan support. Then last summer the track officials did some gridding on the upper groove to try a rescue the track and bring it back to the Bristol of Old. I don’t think the restoration project is done yet they still need some more gridding but now move down to the middle/center groove. With the Bristol race and the Gedn6 car we started seeing the teams push the camber on the tires causing a lot of tire failures making it the only excitement on the track was watching tires blow and cars hitting the wall. That was until Denny Hamlin put Joey Logano into the wall giving the NASCAR fans the feel of the Old Bristol when the action and drivers tempers kept the race fans on the edge of their seats and gave fans something to talk about for weeks. Fans wonder which driver was giving or getting revenge and when would the payback occur. Race rating was a C because we finally saw tempers at Bristol again not because of the New Gen6 Car.

    The fifth race of 2013 is the Spring race at Fontana where fans saw more of the same from the Gen6 and FOX trying to keep the TV ratings, when Larry McReynolds stated; “In five weeks we have had five different race tracks and this new Gen6 car has performed and has given us five great races”. But then Darrell Waltrip remarked a more political statement saying “The New Gen6 Car is right now ahead of the teams where the teams are still trying to learn and catch-up their notes on this car”. But this race track surface at Fontana is old and in fact is original and has never has been resurfaced since the track open. Making the track slick, bumpy and allowing drivers with an “Aero Tight” Gen6 Car use every inch of the track including the track’s apron. Allowing the drivers to try the “Old Slide Job” on their competitors. The Gen6 car would start on the apron and then slide all the way to the wall just trying to make a pass giving an ill handling Gen6 car the room it needed to make a pass. Teams are showing how hard it is to get the New Gen6 car to turn by again pushing the tire’s camber. Look at the restarts a see how many drivers are spinning their tires for the reason of camber. The tire patch is not set for a flat surface, the tire is on its rim causing poor traction on flat surfaces but better corner handling. I gave the Spring Fontana race rating a C not because of the new Gen6 but because of the final laps when tempers again boiled over between Denny and Joey. See Bristol what you did to NASCAR by resurfacing the track and changing it to a “Progressive Banked Track” the drivers left “Thunder Valley” in a good state of mind. The Joey and Denny feuds have again put excitement back in racing. Tempers always where HOT! after a The Old Style Bristol Race and the stands where full. Keep working on the track and now grid down the center groove. I do not want any driver hurt but I can’t blame Joey for driving hard into the corner for the reasons Joey is driving for a new team wants to show them his passion to win and Denny is part of Joey’s old team then again Bristol was still fresh on Joey’s mind. And now we may have a Tony and Joey feud a brewing. Maybe this is what the New Gen6 Car needed.

    Easter weekend is coming and I understand it is a time for reflection and spending time with the family. But, if was a Crew Chef or Team Owner I would setup at least two days of testing to get a better handle on the setups this New Gen6 Car wants and needs.

    Finally NASCAR be honest with your fans. We all know NASCAR is worried about ratings, ticket sales and their sponsors. So, NASCAR wants to keep a lid on their problems and maybe just put a band-aid on their issues instead of being open and honest. The Loyal NASCAR Fans deserves nothing less than NASCAR being honest. We know it is a NEW CAR just give the Fans HONEST FACTS. Not political answers.

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Gen6 Car Race Reviews 2013 Season: Fontana Spring Race

Race: C+

The race track surface at Fontana is old and in fact has never been resurfaced since the track open. Making the track slick, bumpy and allowing drivers with an “Aero Tight” Gen6 Car use every inch of the track including the apron. Sliding the Gen6 car from the apron to the high side just to try and make a pass giving an ill handling Gen6 car the room it needed to make try and make that pass. For this reason I gave the high rating of a C+, huh? High? Yes, without oil dropping on the track and blown tires again from camber issues we had follower the leader racing. The racing again was only done after a restart with only a very few teams fighting for any of the lead changes. Again we had a race determined how good it was not from the Gen6 Car but for another reasons. The track surface at Fontana and Mother Nature in Las Vegas was the determining reasons for the good race ratings, if not for that the rating would be making a Big Fat ‘F‘ for the season.

Larry McReynolds is definitely NASCAR’s mouth piece in the booth when he stated; “In five weeks we have had five different race tracks and this new Gen6 car as performed and has given us five great races”. Oh. Larry what can I say but this, please get your eyes checked. I just got new glass this past week and I know after my eye test I am not blind. These five races have been only good because of the reasons I have stated and have been boring follower the leader. The Gen6 Car is “Aero Tight” with little passing for the lead unless you count passing in the pits. Even Bristol was boring, if it wasn’t for the teams pushing the camber and blowing tires the only action was between Joey and Denny. Your partner in the booth Darrell Waltrip made a political statement saying “The New Gen6 Car is right now ahead of the teams where the teams are still trying to learn and catch-up their notes on this car”. All I can stay over the Easter Break every team better not take the weekend off. They all need to go somewhere Friday and Saturday and test. Hell, even Denny Hamlin knows the truth but Denny got fined by NASCAR for saying it. NASCAR knows they have a problem with the Gen6 car. NASCAR is worried about ratings, ticket sales and their sponsors. So, NASCAR wants to keep a lid on their problems and maybe put a band-aid on it instead of being open and honest.

See Bristol what you did to NASCAR by resurfacing the track and changing it to a “Progressive Banked Track”. The Joey and Denny feuds have again put excitement back in racing. Tempers always where HOT! after a Bristol race and the stands where full. Keep working on the track and now grid down the center groove. I do not want any driver hurt but I can’t blame Joey for driving hard into the corner for the reasons Joey driving for a new team wants to show them his passion to win and Denny is part of his old team then again Bristol was still fresh in Joey’s mind.

And now we may have a Tony and Joey feud a brewing. Maybe this is what the New Gen6 Car needed.

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March Madness Round of 32 Reviews:

This is truly a 64 team field no matter what the NCAA calls the first four games in Dayton, Ohio. We really know those are the “Play in Games” and reviewing them is pointless because we do not figure them in our “Bracket Selections

Upsets:

#12 Oregon vs. #4 St. Louis University…. This was a NCAA Tournament Selection Committee made upset. Why? Ask yourself how could Oregon have been a twelve seed? I say for this reason I could not count this as an upset but I’ll leave it in the upset category just because of the committee.

#9 Wichita State vs. #1 Gonzaga …. The first number one goes down not surprising for some of the Talking Heads who thought Gonzaga should have never gotten that seed and was not surprised by their lost. The headlines where written by Wichita State…. “The Shockers Shock the Zagas!”

#15 Florida Gulf Coast vs. #7 San Diego State… The “Glass Slipper” truly fits FGCU after beating seventh seed San Diego State and being the first fifteen seed to advance to The Sweet Sixteen.

Close Calls:

#2 Ohio State vs. #10 Iowa State…. Ohio State just pulled this one out by getting Iowa State to make too many turnovers which just outweighed Iowa State offensive rebounds.

#1 Indiana vs. #9 Temple…. In a low scoring dog fight number one seed Indiana scored the last ten points to keep their dreams alive and not allowing ninth seed Temple to pull off an upset and get into the Sweet Sixteen. Indiana scored just enough in their lowest scoring game this year.

#2 Miami vs. #7 Illinois…. After a close call from seventh seed Illinois second seed Miami was able to survive & advance and making it the first time three Florida Teams were able to make it to The Sweet Sixteen.

Best Games of the Tournament:

#3 Marquette vs. #6 Butler…. A game with twist and turns that game down to a last second shot but like their first matchup this season in Maui Butler wasn’t able to hit that miracle shot this time so, Marquette got its revenge. And the taste of a win with the sweet smell of revenge is finer when drunk in the dance of an NCAA Tournament.

#13 LaSalle vs. #12 Mississippi…. Thirteen seed LaSalle from the “Play in Game” to The Sweet Sixteen after defeating another want-a-be Cinderella twelve seed Ole Miss. Who would ever guess LaSalle winning three straight games? LaSalle just wants to keep wearing “The Glass Slipper” a little longer maybe the Elite Eight or could LaSalle keep it on into the Final Four? A great story line to follow along with the fifteen seed Florida Gulf Coast and it’s that what makes this Tournament so great are the story lines it generates.

Cinderella

The thinking before each year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament who will be this year’s Cinderella and wear the “Glass Slipper”. Well, in Round One we saw it slip onto the feet of the Harvard players, and the amazing play of the Florida Gulf Coast players. But, having it stay on and wearing the “Glass Slipper” for more than a game is hard for a fifteen seed and a fourteen seed. Saying that a thirteen seed LaSalle is still wearing their “Glass Slipper” after two wins but one win was in a “Play in Game” so that does not really count for wearing it for two games. LaSalle didn’t truly get their shoe fitting until their win over number four seed Kansas State. And now it truly fits LaSalle after beating Ole Miss and advancing to The Sweet Sixteen along with Florida Gulf Coast after they too advanced after beating San Diego State.

The question I have to ask myself can a nine seed be fitted for a “Glass Slipper”. I say yes after beating a number one they sure can! So, if a nine seed could be fitted for a slipper why couldn’t Oregon a number twelve seed wear the “Glass Slipper”? Sorry, No! The making of a Cinderella is not manmade you have to be born into the roll and the Selection Committee made Oregon’s twelve seed an unfair seeding to their first and second round opponents. So, Oregon’s feet are too big to wear the “Glass Slipper”.

Next stop The Sweet Sixteen. How’s your Bracket now? No perfect brackets, no way did anybody have LaSalle and Florida Gulf Coast in The Sweet Sixteen.

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March Madness 2013 Round 1 Day 2 Review:

This is truly a 64 team field no matter what the NCAA calls the first four games in Dayton, Ohio. We really know those are the “Play in Games” and reviewing them is pointless because we do not figure them in our “Bracket Selections”.

Upsets:

#12 Ole Miss vs. #5 Wisconsin …. What happen to the B1G, Dick Vitale your so called power conference the Big 10? Not so B1G now with a lost to the Football Power House Conference SEC.

#13 LaSalle vs. #4 Kansas State …. With a second half comeback falling short LaSalle got its second win in this 2013 Tournament and making the little known A-10 Conference 6 – 0 so far with wins by SLU, VCU, Butler and Temple. Now Dickey V. which conference is the power house now? And even more impressive LaSalle won the game after having to win their “Play in Game” in Dayton, OH and then flew to Kansas City, MO which was in all intense and purpose, was a home game for Kansas State being just hop, skip and jump from the Little Apple of Manhattan, KS.

#8 seeds vs. #9 seed is a “Pick’em Game” and is never an upset in this game no matter who wins.

And that somewhat goes with the #7 seed vs. #10 seed is a “To Close to Call Game” to really call a ten beating a seven an upset. As for all the other seeds and games everything goes and the higher seed better win or it will be called an upset. Finally on the seven – ten seeds I think #10 Iowa State should have been the seven seed not Notre Dame not really an upset with Notre Dame losing.

#11 Minnesota vs. #6 UCLA …. A small upset win for Minnesota because UCLA was down a man who was their team leader and point guard Jordan Adams to a broken foot, and with an already shorten bench got even shorter with guard David Brown sprain his ankle in practice before the Minnesota game. But, Dickey V. will not take this into any kind of consideration when he again declares the B1G the greatest basketball conference in the land.

And the BIGGEST UPSET of Round 1 came in day 2 with #15 Florida Gulf Coast vs. #2 Georgetown …. Like father like son Georgetown falters in the Big Dance and goes out early after getting “Out Played” and upset by Florida Gulf Coast. It just looked like to me that Coach John Thompson III didn’t stress enough that FGCU beat Miami this past season in just its sixth year in Division I and made it in the tournament in only its second year of eligible to play in the Big Dance. I guess it’s time to break up the Big East, oh! They are already doing that.

Close Calls:

#1 Kansas vs. #16 Western Kentucky …. With Kansas wearing down the Hill Toppers of Western Kentucky with defense not offense, Kansas won by seven and just survives and keeps the number one seeds record of never being beaten by a sixteen seed intact. Survive & advance and just maybe the Jayhawks’s will settle down and play better.

The 2013 Tournament is starting to become known as the tournament of the advancing twelve seeds with upset wins by Ole Miss (Mississippi), Oregon, and California.

Also may I add one more thing? Notre Dame please if your University is going to continue playing Division I Basketball please burn all those Bright Glow in the Dark Neon Green Informs, Adidas be dammed for trying to out- duel Nike with those hideous uniforms. Enough is enough, it is just about the old mighty dollar and getting fans to spend their hard earn money and buy new jerseys, but who in their right mind is going to spend a dime on that, even Mike Golic a Notre Dame alumnus said on the Mike & Mike Show on espn2 he didn’t approve the uniforms and it deserves your team right losing to #10 Iowa State with those piss poor uniforms.

So, how is your Bracket doing now? With the Wins/Upsets of #13 LaSalle over Kansas State and #14 Harvard over New Mexico and we can’t forget #15 Florida Gulf Coast over Big East Season Co-Champion Georgetown. If you say it is still prefect you’re a Big Fat Liar!

Now onto the Round of Thirty Two.

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March Madness 2013 Round 1 Day 1 Review:

This is truly a 64 team field no matter what the NCAA calls the first four games in Dayton, Ohio. We really know those are the “Play in Games” and reviewing them is pointless because we do not figure them in our “Bracket Selections”.

Upsets:

The Bracket Buster of Day 1 and maybe of the tournament #14 Harvard vs. #3 New Mexico …. This upset is a TRUE Bracket Buster, no Talking Head or even the President saw Harvard beating New Mexico. Didn’t the Los Angeles Lakers fire Coach Mike Brown because he was trying to run the Harvard Offensive? Looked pretty good to me beating New Mexico by six points, congratulations to the program’s biggest win, an Ivy League Team with no scholarships beating the Highly Rated Mountain West Conference Winner and their Conference Tournament Winner and now the Talking Heads will jump all over the Mountain West explaining how they knew the conference was so over rated and forgetting how well Harvard played.

#9 Wichita State vs. #8 Pittsburg …. Just kidding a number eight vs. a number nine is a pick’em game. Not an upset here just a little surprising to see the final score but the Talking Heads did warn Pitt sometimes has trouble scoring.

#12 Oregon vs. #5 Oklahoma State… Not really an upset in my mind because the Talking Heads where so upset with the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee because they seeded Oregon so low at a twelve seed and with that seeding Oregon also felt insulted by the Committee and played the game with a chip on the shoulder.

#12 California vs. #5 UNLV… Can you truly call this an upset with Cal a twelve seed playing so close to home? UNLV was the higher seed and was the away team. Sometimes no matter what the NCAA Tournament Committee says they do make a lot of their decisions on the local ticket sales and how well a team travels. For an example this year #3 Michigan State and #4 Michigan are playing close to home in Auburn Hills, MI and #4 Kansas State is playing close to home in Kansas City, MO while #4 St. Louis University had to travel all the way to San Jose, CA compared to #6 Butler got to stay closer to home and play in Lexington, KY. I can understand the #1 and #2 seeds getting the right to play close to home they have earn that right, but some of the other decisions about seeds and team placements are controlled by the Old Mighty Dollar no matter what the NCAA Officials says.

Close Calls:

#6 Memphis vs. #11 St. Mary’s …. Memphis by two with St. Mary’s three point try going long at the buzzer.

#3 Marquette vs. #14 Davidson… With the closest upset in the afternoon session of day 1 Marquette needed a drive by Vander Blue with 0:01 seconds left to get Marquette a one point win over Davidson or Marquette would have been truly “Blue”.

Almost History
#
1Gonzaga vs. #16 Southern… Close late but Gonzaga got a six point win, so close for the first number one seed to be upset by a number sixteen seed. The so-called experts would have been on their “High Horses” and bragging that “I Told You So! Zaga was Over-Rated” Just to see the Talking Heads fight over who would be first at the microphones to express their opinions would have been funny to watch.

So, how is your BRACKET doing….Busted Yet? Did you have Harvard?

Onto the Day 2 of Round 1…..

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Who Controls One Revisited

It has been asked in the past “Who Controls One?”
For the answer to One is complex
For no One controls Ones
Because One is controlled by the Firm of Me, Myself, and I
In this group One’s decisions are controlled by the Firm
A true three party system were One has no vote
One may wish to be a rebel and run with the wind
But the Firm of Me, Myself, and I would not allow One
For the power of a veto by One has been bogged down by the power of the Firm
With a majority vote of which One has none
The Firm of Me, Myself, and I controls One
Where One may try and manipulate Me
But I would never allow it
By Myself is stronger than One
For these reasons One is control by Me, Myself, and I.

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