Wednesday, July 28, 2010

No more steroids is the reason?

So I'm hearing the experts say the reason runs and home runs are down in Major League Baseball and why there are so many no-hitters and perfect games is because there's no more steroids in baseball.  When was it decided that steroids helped hitters make contact?  When was it determined that steroids helped hitters hit for average?  If this logic is true, then doesn't it also follow that the same hitters who usually hit more home runs than they are this year must have been using steroids in years past?
So are the pitchers still on steroids but the hitters aren't?  Aren't there more really hard throwing pitchers currently than we've seen in many years?
I'm not sure why this is a sea change time in baseball, vis-a-vis a hitters era formerly and seemingly now entering a pitchers era, but I don't think it has anything to do with the supposed eradication of steroids from baseball.

Too Many Wideouts In Cincy

I believe that the Cincinnati Bengals have the deepest Wide Receiving Corps in the NFL after signing Terrell Owens to a 1 year deal at $2 Million. I looked at their receiving corps and tried to figure out where all the young players sit in the depth chart. Believe me, there isn't much room for them to slide into.

Let's Go Alphabetically:

Dezmon Briscoe - Rookie out of Kansas. He is the leading reciever in the history of Jayhawks football, I believe. He was the go to Wide out last year in Kansas. Right now, according to most depth charts, he is the #6 or #7 receiver in the Organization. He is 3rd on the depth chart for Split End.

Freddie Brown - Spent Last year on the Bengals Practice Squad. A 2nd year pro out of Utah. He isn't listed in the top 8 receivers in the organization. Can see him getting cut unless he shines on special teams.

Antonio Bryant - 8 year vet from Pittsburgh. Caught 39 balls last year for the passing inept Buccaneers. Signed with Cincinnati with a salary of almost $10 Million for this year. Has knee issues this offseason and is now the #3 receiver behind TO and Ochocinco. $10 Million for a #3 WR is real steep salary cap wise.

Andre Caldwell - A 3rd year receiver out of Florida with 51 catches last year. Was expected to push Antonio Bryant for the starter's role on the strong side. Now with TO in the mix, will be relegated to either a 4th or 5th receiver in the Bengals attack.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Why I Will Not Watch NASCAR Anymore

Saturday night summed up why I will not watch NASCAR anymore. You have a great Nationwide race going with Edwards and Keselowski. They are the class of the field. Then on lap 199 of 200, Keselowski does the bump and run in Turn 1, gets besides Edwards and they are in a drag race for the checkered flag. Then Edwards seeing that he is going to lose, deliberately turns into Keselowski and has him go into the retaining wall while Edwards goes on for the win.

In interviews, Edwards admits that he purposely wrecked Keselowski. That is the second time this year that this has happened. The first was Edwards getting Keselowski airborne in Atlanta in a Sprint Cup race while he was over 100 laps down. So now, the Nationwide Series director has said "it was a tough finish for a really great race." No. It was a BS finish and everybody knows it. Imagine if Edwards was doing this to Jimmie Johnson or Matt Kenseth. The sanctioning body of NASCAR would be doing things differently with regard to Carl Edwards. And that is why I will not watch or support anything done by NASCAR. Because of the favoritism that NASCAR shows to certain people and teams.

It isn't new to NASCAR, but they are allowing it to show all the time now. Imagine if Robbie Gordon decided to take out Kyle Busch for some perceived dirty racing. Gordon would be taken out back to the woodshed by NASCAR because he isn't a star in NASCAR and doesn't drive for a premier team. They let Dale Earnhardt get away with it for years, but not others. See the preferential treatment for some but not others? Isn't Stock Car racing supposed to be even for everyone and the sanctioning body not pulling for certain teams?

Until NASCAR does decide to start penalizing racers for deliberately wrecking another competitor, I will not watch another race. I will not buy any merchandise for either myself or my son. And for NASCAR, that is just 2 more sets of eyeballs that will not be watching, nothing major for them. But I have a feeling that I am not alone in this sentiment. Call people doing dirty things dirty and make them pay a penalty for it. And probation is not a penalty. For Edwards, park his ass for a race and the 60 team for a race in Nationwide. For Sprint Cup, have Edwards sit out at least 3 weeks and have him do an interview about the error of his ways. That will wake up lots of people and might actually stop the stupidity of wrecking people on purpose. Then fine his happy ass the prize money for the Gateway win. Cheaters should not prosper. And then for the ultimate insult, vacate his win. Give the win to Reed Sorenson and have Edwards finish on the tail end of the lead lap. That way he would still finish behind Keselowski. And that would burn Edwards inside to no end.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

In defense...

Of LeBron James:  Who owns him?  No one.  Did he play out his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers?  Yes, he did.  Did he sign a second contract with the Cavs to try to win a title there?  Yes, he did.  Did he leave for more money?  No, he didn't.  Did he promise he'd stay in Cleveland?  No, he didn't.  Did he try to persuade other key free agents to come to Cleveland?  Based on reports I've heard confirmed on ESPN, he tried to get Bosh to come to Cleveland.  It was only when those attempts failed did he ultimately make a decision based on where he felt his best chance to win a championship lied.  Did his hypocritical owner try to get other players to do what he's criticizing James for doing?  Oh yes, he did.  Did he bring seven great years to a franchise that, with the exception of a few-year blip in the '90s, was dead and no one cared about?  Absolutely.  So in all fairness, aside from that ridiculous dog and pony show announcement, what did he do wrong?

Of the soccer World Cup:  Just as with the Summer and Winter Olympic games, it is the biggest and most popular sporting event in the world; and just as with the above, the size of the stage and what's on the line create interest in this sports fan's mind for events and sports that aren't there all the time.  I still have my criticisms:  Mostly the flopping.  But I have come to appreciate aspects of the sport that I heretofore found boring.  Likely the largest reason for that new found appreciation, aside from the stage and stakes, is the quality of the play in this tournament as most of the best players in the world are present.  I will be watching the final tomorrow and will be very much entertained, even though I don't have a dog in the hunt any longer.

Of the MLB All Star Game:  No, it's not what it used to be, at least for me that's because the players don't take it as seriously as they used to.  Don't get me wrong, they each want to win and it's important to them; but I don't feel the hatred and inter-league rivalry that this game used to have.  Is interleague play the culprit?  Perhaps.  That or the freeness of the modern free agency system that's created in the players' minds no loyalty at all to team and league.  Nor should they but it does feel different.
Despite that, I've always looked forward to this game.  Go American League!  I look forward to the player announcements.  I look forward to a game where most of the best players are playing.  I look forward to the rivalry and beating the National League once again.  I look forward to seeing star players from other teams that I don't routinely see.  I watch with anticipation as the Red Sox present take their turn at bat or on the mound in key moments, and still feel pride in being a Sox fan when those players come through.  And I still enjoy the Home Run Hitting Contest.  I still feel like a kid when I watch the best big leaguers hit it a mile.  It's not great every year but I watch every year, lest I miss a performance ala Josh Hamilton's.

In defense of NASCAR:  Because I'll always love speed, cars and racing, to say nothing about the sounds and smells (I fart exhaust fumes when I watch at home).  Other than baseball, no sport makes me feel more like a kid when I watch it than racing...pure escapism to my youth.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Today's special: Red flannel hash

Having some leftover pork roast from last night's entree, it seems the perfect excuse to make a Zebster's favorite that's not made often flannel hash.
You'll need:  Obviously some pork roast (or corned beef) cubed, one medium onion, couple tablespoons of minced garlic, a couple medium beets and about four medium potatoes.
It's quite quick and simple.  I think any hash tastes best if made in a cast iron skillet using lots of bacon fat (hooray, bacon fat).  So dice up the onion and saute in the pan of sizzling bacon fat (hooray, bacon fat) along with the garlic as you're cubing your potatoes and beets, getting a nice golden edge to the potatoes.  Then add in your beets and pork to heat through, salt and pepper (or whatever other spices you'd like) to taste.
It's a meal made from leftover meat, so the exact quantities of ingredients is really based on what you have on hand and the size of the veggies you have obviously.
Since this is a tavern and the hash will have a red tint to it, I'll suggest a nice Killian's Irish Red to wash it down.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

In Memoriam: Don Coryell

Don Coryell Before I became a member of Raider Nation I was a lifelong fan of the San Diego Chargers and I was lucky to be living here when Don Coryell led a laughingstock of a football franchise to three straight AFC West division titles and a couple of shots at a Super Bowl appearance.

When Coryell returned to San Diego during the 1978 season after a successful run as head coach of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Chargers were emerging from a run of futility very few teams have endured. Only three years earlier the Chargers were two late season wins against the Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Jets away from becoming the first team in modern NFL history to complete the Imperfect Season, which back then was an 0-14 record. He finished the 1978 season with an 8-3 run and the passing game as we knew it was redefined by the offense known as Air Coryell.

They threw the long bomb on first down and often used the passing game to set up the running game for success. Up until that time it was unheard of for a tight end to sprint downfield and catch a fifty-yard bomb on the first play from scrimmage, but that’s the kind of offense Air Coryell ran during its run as AFC West champions. Once Kellen Winslow arrived in the league, every football team wanted a pass catching tight end that could run like a wide receiver as well as block.

Wide receivers lucky enough to wear the blue and gold became stars in their own right in the Air Coryell offense. John Jefferson, Wes Chandler and Charlie Joiner had their best years in San Diego and running backs like Chuck Muncie, James Brooks and Lionel James also enjoyed career years after Coryell’s offense literally blew apart NFL defenses.

To this day I believe the Chargers should have won that Freezer Bowl game in Cincinnati against the Bengals as well as the Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers two weeks later. They were the best team in the NFL in 1981 and if it weren’t for circumstances beyond their control they wouldn’t still be searching for their first Lombardi Trophy.

RIP Don. You will always be a legend here in San Diego.