Friday, June 26, 2015
Let me start by saying I am, as usual, going off a stream of consciousness, having just heard about the Lucic trade as I was going to write a blog about the Hamilton trade. I know nothing about the other players involved in these trades, though it appears the value the Bruins got in return was the draft picks.
So let me get this straight: Not long ago the Bruins had worked magic and become something very rare in pro sports -- a team at the top with high draft picks. They worked their magic and ended up drafting Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton (and we won't bother saying that the Seguin pick comes about by trading away another very high draft pick.)
So are we seeing a trend here? Absolutely we are. We're seeing a team that gets high draft picks and doesn't keep them. Does this mean they're missing the mark with who they draft with those picks, how those players are then developed, or both or neither (though I don't think neither is really possible.)
You bailed on the very talented enigma that is Phil Kessel, whom you drafted very high with much aplomb, getting the number 2 overall pick in return, the aforementioned Seguin, only to give up on him after two seasons. And what did you get in return there? A bag of pucks.
Interrupting myself for a second but who was the previous very high draft pick the Bruins gave up on before Kessel? One Joe Thornton. Definitely, definitely a trend, my friends.
Now you're giving up on Dougie Hamilton because why? I'm guessing because they didn't think he was worth the money he was asking and the fact that the Bruins are up against it with the cap. But all you got in return was the 14th pick...in my book that's trading down since Hamilton was a higher pick than that and you know what you've got with it. I could care less about the other late picks in that deal. Now they've traded Milan Lucic was a comparable pick and a player I don't know.
Is this a sign of a rebuild (and arguably an identity shift if you're getting rid of the one player who most plays, when he decides to, like the Bruins have always played) or does this have everything to do with money?
But more importantly is: What faith should I have that you'll, A, draft great players with those picks (since you're trading great players for them) and even if you do, will you develop and keep them?
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
It'll be Tony Gwynn Week in San Diego, Feb. 19-28, 2016. pic.twitter.com/W1PuluKTKS— GoAztecs.com (@GoAztecs) June 16, 2015
I just happened to take the day off from work and caught this gem on my Twitter feed. On the one year anniversary of his death, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has declared February 19th through the 28th, 2016 Tony Gwynn Week.
I don't care if it's technically ten days. It begins on the 19th of the month and Tony deserves every one of them.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Now that the "drama" from earlier today is a thing of the past, it's time to get ready for the biggest sporting event in my household -- the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For me, this is my Super Bowl. Ever since I saw the movie "Le Mans" with Steve McQueen as a kid, I've always been fascinated with sports car racing. Over the years, we didn't have anything in the way of television coverage here in the States, but once the former Speed channel broadcasted over half of the race live several years ago I was hooked.
Do I have any strange rituals for the race? My participation in it as a fan has always been, "I'll stay up as long as Corvette Racing has a chance to win." In most cases, that meant waking up just before 6am on Saturday morning to catch the start of the race and then doing whatever it took to stay awake the full twenty-four hours! On some occasions, I've been rewarded with the sight of the men dressed in yellow and black celebrating on the top spot on the podium on Sunday morning. Lately, this also includes Dempsey Racing since "McDreamy" now participates in the event.
One of my habits during the race is to be active on Twitter. I not only follow the Corvette Racing account and several of the drivers, but it's the best place to get information during the race before it appears on the newswires. In some cases, it's great when you want confirmation of driver changes or what's happening to cars on the track. On the flip side, I also found out through social media and French translation when Allan Simonsen passed away well before they announced it on television. Regardless of what happens, this means my Android devices pictured above will all take turns "live tweeting" my thoughts on the race just like the drivers.
A common misconception is that I'll be glued to the television for the full twenty-four hours. I learned after the first time I did it that, it takes me a few days afterward to recover. I'll likely take a nap in the early afternoon hours so it will be easier for me to stay awake well into the next morning. The middle part of the race is also a great time for me to catch up on reading. While the PC is streaming the race, I'll likely be on one of my Kindle tablets reading a magazine or comic book.
I always have a "sin" meal during the race, and it's almost certain I'll pick up a large order of carne asada nachos from a nearby Mexican restaurant this weekend. Those are heavenly, and perfect for this event. I'll also need to keep plenty of coffee on hand, or perhaps pick up a bottle of Mountain Dew if I want to save a few bucks.
Finally, this also means I'll need to dust off my DVD copy of "Le Mans" and watch it tomorrow or Friday night to remember the good old days of sports car racing.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
You know, I'm really starting to get sick and tired of this men's league softball team masquerading as major leaguers in Red Sox uniforms. I may have a rant in me. It's bad enough that we don't have a single professional hitter on the roster (and those who know me know what that means), and haven't produced one in the farm system for years. Pappi trying to pull every pitch for a HR last night with 2 runners on in a one-run game. Fat guys who can't turn a friggin ball down the line into a double (Sandoval). Even Xander, who obviously slid too early and got thrown out at second --THROWN OUT AT 2ND ON A FRIGGIN BALL OFF THE CENTER FIELD WALL -- but how the hell was that even possibly close with his half decent speed? I'll always love the Sox but I'm sick and tired of bad fundamental baseball. And you know, the pitching's been pretty darn good lately and it's an affront to all things holy that this lineup can't score any runs. Return to the top...it's like a vicious cycle. Let's just watch fastballs down the middle while we try to run up the pitch count sitting back on the bench. Rant over for now.
This after their anemic offensive output of late and bad fundamentals, including seemingly everyone trying to pull every pitch for a HR. The straw that broke here was the 2nd inning of tonight's game, watching back to back hitters get thrown out at second base on easy doubles. Get defensive plays but it shouldn't have been possible to throw them out.
I was going to write this nice blog post about watching the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but as you can see in the above tweet that may not happen this year. But in the event you're interested in one of the world's most prestigious sports car races, the following TV schedule is where you can watch all the action. All times are Eastern Standard Time:I may skip this year's race. The Fox Sports Go app doesn't recognize my cable provider, and half the TV coverage is overnight. #LM24— The Hun†ress (@RJOuttaSoCal) June 10, 2015
8:30am - 11:45am Fox Sports 2
7:00pm - 8:00pm Fox Sports 1
11:00pm - 12:30am Fox Sports 2
3:30am - 7:30am Fox Sports 1
7:30am - 9:00am Fox Sports 2
9:00am - 9:30am Fox Sports 1
You can also watch the entire race on the Fox Sports Go app, but if you're like me and have Cox Communications as your cable provider, the stupid app won't recognize your provider and you can't "unlock" the event.
UPDATE 10:38am PST: It turns out the Fire TV app is the one that doesn't work, but the Fox Sports Go app for the Kindle Fire tablets detected my cable provider and work fine. It would be nice to stream the race on the big screen, though.
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Saturday, May 30, 2015
RJ and I have had similar conversation in the past regarding boycotts. I may be wrong about this but this is how I still feel. I feel that despite who legally owns the franchises, which obviously gives them the right to do whatever they want, including moving, I feel as if they are our franchises...that the owners are merely placeholders. Granted, this is the perspective of a lifelong fan of New England pro sports (you will have to remember that it hasn't always been roses like the last 15 years) where you're brought up to love and follow these teams, in fact you feel like you inherit a part ownership of them. The Patriots didn't move to Hartford or St Louis in the early 90s and no franchise has left Boston since the Braves.
Is it actually going to hurt or even get noticed by these owners if you boycott? Why the hell should I boycott "my" team? There's a helluva lot more chance being heard if you stay engaged than go away.
I agree with author of the above piece on many, many points; and I suspect that Bob Kraft paying more attention to his bottom line and not being willing to cut his own throat to fight Goodell in the end, is probably the breaking point for that fan. I know I too was disappointed. I figured Kraft, who's arguably the most respected owner in the league and who also owns its current most successful franchise, could find a way to put Goodell's feet to the fire over this debacle without having to go to court.
The author of this letter of frustration ends by saying that he feels freed. This is where I bring back perspective. Despite the fact that I feel these are my teams, I've never lost sight of the fact that this is sports. Maybe the author isn't old enough to remember '86 in particular. I lived through that and my life went on regardless. So while I feel pro sports owners should be held accountable as caretakers of our franchises, I also feel equally strong that we have to keep in perspective what's truly important. I look forward to sports nearly every day and it is a huge part of the passions of my life but the world does not begin and end with them.
Friday, May 29, 2015
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Normally, the day before Memorial Day is like Christmas for me. I get to wake up well before sunrise and watch the Monaco Grand Prix live on television, then wait a few hours afterward for the start of the Indianapolis 500. The Coca-Cola 600, or whatever it’s called nowadays? Sorry, but NASCAR takes a back seat to open wheel racing on this special day.
My day of racing is over. Even though I should be happy I saw two great races, I’m relieved no one was seriously injured or killed. This should have been a fun day to relax and watch my favorite drivers battle for victory, and instead I’m left wondering if it’s a matter of time before tragedy strikes.
Let’s review what happened today:
MONACO: I still can’t believe Lewis Hamilton didn’t win. He was 19 seconds ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg when with about a dozen laps to go “Mad Max” Verstappen attempted to overtake the Lotus of Romain Grosjean on the inside heading into Sainte Devote (Turn 1). Just as he had done with Grosjean’s teammate Pastor Maldonado earlier in the race, Mad Max made contact with Grosjean and took him out of the points.
The collision caused Mad Max to lose a wheel and his brakes, and he shot straight into the barriers at high speed. If this had happened at the chicane coming out of the tunnel, we might have had a different outcome for the young driver. I don’t mind seeing aggressive driving, but you never should do it at the expense of your competitors unless it’s the final laps.
Believe it or not, that wasn’t the biggest brain fart in Monaco. That belongs to whoever made the call in the pits for the AMG Mercedes driver to pit for new tires under caution with a dozen laps to go. Instead of rolling the dice and letting Lewis battle for the win, the points leader had to settle for third place on the podium. I appreciate Lewis defending his team after the race, but he’s too smart to make that call. He should have won his fifth race this season, not his crybaby teammate.
INDIANAPOLIS: If you’ve been reading my forum posts this past week, my fears of a fatality are well documented. I had every reason to be worried. The changes in this year’s aero kit and car design were a huge step backward in driver and fan safety. Cars that had not previously gone airborne when going backwards were now flying in the air like prototype sports cars. We also could have had a new mayor of Hinchtown when James Hinchcliffe was critically injured earlier in the week.
Then there was talk of assaulting Arie Lyendyk’s lap record with this same, flawed car next year. If these cars are getting airborne at 200 mph, how much higher do you think they’ll sail at speeds ten to twenty miles an hour faster? Did we not learn from Tony Renna’s practice accident? Tony Kaanan’s accident a dozen years ago when a suspension part pierced his legs? We haven’t, and I told all of my friends to brace themselves for the very real possibility we’d see a very serious or fatal accident like the ones that were commonplace twenty to thirty years ago.
Thankfully, no cars got airborne and no drivers were killed or seriously injured today. However, it must be noted three crew members from Dale Coyne Racing were injured when someone let James Davison exit his pit while both lanes in pit road were occupied by passing cars. In a cruel bit of irony, Davison’s car struck teammate Pippa Mann, who was on the inside lane and entering her own pit.
The collision sent Davison’s car into the pit of third teammate Tristan Vautier while the crew were changing right side tires. Luckily, the accident looked worse than it actually was. At this writing, only one crew member is hospitalized for an ankle fracture. In my opinion, none of the drivers were at fault. If Davison’s pit had kept him there until Mann was clear, this incident never would have happened.
The traveling open wheel circus goes to Detroit next weekend, but I worry about what could happen when they arrive in Texas in two weeks for the Firestone 600. Will there be enough safety measures to prevent a repeat of Hinchcliffe’s accident? A car going airbone like Kenny Bräck nearly a decade ago?
I know racing is dangerous and not all fatalities are preventable, but to compromise driver and fan safety for the sake of faster speeds will ruin the sport in the long run unless immediate changes are made. With the safety advances the series has made over the past few years, including the creation of the DW12 car, there is no excuse for these cars to endanger the lives of drivers and fans like they did in the past.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
|Leaving North Dakota For Philly? Not An Upgrade By Any Means|
It was time for Coach Hakstol to go. The natives were on the Warpath (pun intended). After more than a decade of no National Championships and 7 Frozen Fours, the whispers were becoming shouts that we would never be champs again with this guy behind the bench. Yes, the program kept rolling along with players being drafted and becoming major cogs in pro teams, but here in North Dakota, the teams could never gel well enough to become that team that everybody believed could fight through adversity during the National Tournament.