Category: Random Rumblings

07/23/12

Random Rumblings - Baseball Trades & Rumors

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-Digger's Daily-

Baseball's new trade deadline rules may or may not alter typical pennant fever transactions. Plenty of teams are looking for help. The new rules may alter previous season "rent-a-player" type moves.

The New York Yankees found a replacement player for injured LF Brett Gardner. Yankees are in Seattle to start a 3 game series. These two teams made headlines in the off season when New York traded top prospect C Montero to Seattle for young fireballing starting pitcher Pineda. This deal promptly blew up in GM Cashman's face when Pineda was lost for the season due to injury. Montero isn't knocking the cover off the ball yet for the M's but they won out here. Headlines were made again today as Seattle traded their most popular player to New York... Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro has struggled throughout this season. I'm willing to bet he's going to have a tremendous second half with his new team. Playing in Yankee Stadium is the perfect location for Ichiro. Ichiro's defense is stellar. He's rumored to be Yanks new LF - something different than what he's accustomed to after spending the bulk of his career in RF & CF. Yanks gave up two pitching prospects and even convinced Seattle to pick up most of their new LF's contract. Home run for Yankees. Mariners clearly in mortgage mode.

Detroit Tigers also got busy today. They fixed two nagging problems with one trade. Detroit picks up 2B Infante and SP Anibal Sanchez from Miami for little known hurler Jacob Turner and two minor leaguers. It seems Miami is ready to pack it in early this season. Miami made pre-season headlines with a new ballpark, new SS Jose Reyes and new manager Ozzie Guillen. It's safe to say it's been a rocky road for all three in 2012. Detroit's merry-go-round at 2B produced the majors worst offensive totals. Infante will be a welcomed addition. Sanchez goes to another pitchers park - the big difference is a ferocious Tigers lineup ready and eager to provide plenty of run support. Perfect timing for a red hot club ready to run away with AL Central.

Truth or rumor? Ryan Dempster is heading to Atlanta? Rumors on ESPN claimed a deal was in place to swap Dempster for SP Randall Delgado. Dempster's season has been stellar. The right-hander leads the majors with a 2.11 ERA and recently reeled off a streak of 33 consecutive scoreless innings. Why stay in Chicago? If my name was Ryan Dempster I'd go begging my GM to finalize the deal! Braves in search of a replacement for injured SP Beachy.

Boston Red Sox attempting to save face on a disappointing season. Key Sox players injured throughout '12 campaign but Boston has stayed within wild card hunting distance. Rumors claiming Sox are hot on the trail of Marlins SP Josh Johnson.

Other notable stirrings coming out of Los Angeles where the Dodgers seem interested in Phillies CF Victorino. He'd become a nice fit atop LA's lineup. Perhaps most pressing is LA's weak infield. Long gone are the glory days of Garvey, Lopes, Russell & Cey. Dodgers infield has no pop, poor range and they're a drain on offensive prodution. Figure it out LA - time to bust a move.

06/27/12

Random Rumblings - Summer Heat

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-Digger's Daily-

New champions crowned.

NBA
Miami Heat took down up and coming Oklahoma City Thunder. 2012 NBA Finals MVP LeBron? James led his Heat to the win in 5 games. Box scores won't reveal how this series was OKC's for the taking in years to come. The Thunder blew a couple of big leads and was no match for Miami's late game heroics. Nerves? Lack of post-season experience? Youth? Or, choke? OKC will challenge for years to come as their core players are relatively young and very hungry for their first championship. Miami figures to be busy this off season fine tuning their squad attempting to repeat.

NHL
There's much to be said about getting hot at just the right moment. That moment arrived when the first puck dropped in opening round game 1 vs heavily favored Vancouver. 8th seeded Los Angeles Kings went on to play gritty no nonsense hockey the rest of the way earning their franchise's first ever Stanley Cup. My money was squarely favoring the New Jersey Devils in the Finals. The first two games went into OT when LA stunned the Devils for back to back victories which were too much to overcome. Congratulations Kings. You burnt four great teams to win it all.

NCAA
NCAA Baseball crowned a new champ - Arizona Wildcats dethroned two time defending champion South Carolina to win the College World Series. Arizona used strong pitching performances on consecutive nights to sweep the CWS finals. James Farris and Mathew Troupe combined to limit the Gamecocks to three hits a night after Konner Wade threw his third straight complete game in a 5-1 win.

"They've just been a joy," said Lopez, flanked by his key players. "I mean, how many times have I told you I love suiting up with you guys? Said it today before the game. And I really do, I like suiting up with young guys that go to class, go to study hall, hustle on the field, clean up the clubhouse on their own. I'm extremely, extremely fortunate to be in this profession and work with young people like this."

This was Arizona's 4th title and a special one for Manager Lopez who took over a team in turmoil 11 years ago. Lopez completely revitalized the Wildcats program from top to bottom. Well done Mr. Lopez.

MLB
Roger Clemens keeps piling up victories. Rocket Rogers was acquitted on all charges that he obstructed and lied to Congress in denying he used performance-enhancing drugs to extend his long career as one of the greatest and most decorated hurlers in baseball history. The Federal Government whiffed AGAIN! They've failed to nail two of baseball's biggest names - Clemens and Barry Bonds. Millions of dollars and hundreds of hours wasted to acquit two stars who will never escape the spotlight of juicing up. Careers tainted by "suspicions"? This will be forever debated.
Sometimes I can't help but wonder if these trials were really intended to convict the accused? Or, were they for public display? How in the world can Federal prosecutors drop the ball with rock solid evidence? Trials be damned, there's no way these two individuals (and dozens of others) are truly innocent.
Mark McGwire? & Sammy Sosa chasing after Roger Maris' home run record remains one of the most disgusting displays by Major League Baseball in history. Picturing McGwire? hugging an emotional Maris family - WHILE KNOWING FULL WELL HE WAS CHEATING - is a travesty. Does everyone remember McGwire? crying about how his bat will now be next to Maris in Baseball's Hall of Fame? I hope this bat is long gone from displays. As well as Bonds breaking two sacred home run records too.
I continue to say Major League Baseball - from the Commissioners Office to league owners to GM's to team doctors - all got off scott free. Once players names were served to the public as red meat a neat diversion was created to shield those needed prosecution the most. The Mitchell Report was a trojan horse diverting attention away from the game's true problem - everyone knew what was going on!!

05/09/12

Random Rumblings Strike Again

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-Digger's Daily-

Where to begin when there's so much to discuss?

NBA Playoffs
2011-12 NBA season will crown a new champion after Oklahoma City destroyed an over matched Dallas Mavericks. Mark Cuban's expression towards the end of Game 4 showed signs of knowing his Mavs roster needs attention. Dallas collapsed in 4th quarter during 3 of 4 losses. OKC has the talent and mindset to go all the way.

San Antonio Spurs made a statement in their demolition sweep against Utah. Spurs barely broke a sweat in the first 3 games decided by double digits. Great basketball awaits in the conference finals if SA squares up vs OKC.

NHL Playoffs
The New Jersey Devils are alive and well. 2012 Devils playoff hockey features something past championships lacked - a high powered scoring attack. New Jersey stunned Philadelphia in 5. If the Rangers (leading 3-2) can finish off Washington then don't miss a single second of action in the Conference Finals. New York vs New Jersey will feature some of the best hockey of this season. I'll be rooting for the Devils every step of the way. These two represent the best of the Eastern Conference.

Western Conference Finals feature two teams barely challenged in opening rounds. Los Angeles vs Phoenix will showcase transition hockey. Neither team light up red lights too often during the regular season but they've suddenly awaken. LA Kings playing their best hockey in years. It's all coming together at just the right moment. Phoenix won the Pacific. LA finished only 2 points behind. These teams split their head to head season series with most games decided in final seconds.

MLB
How dumb can a baseball player be? Suspended: Guillermo Mota with a 100-game ban Monday after the San Francisco Giants player tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs - failed test for a second time!!! Obviously Mota didn't learn his lesson after a 50 game suspension.

Speaking of suspensions... Manny Ramirez is due to return to Major League Baseball soon after his latest suspension. Oakland A's will take their chances on Mannyball. Should be interesting. Wondering if he can still hit major league pitching after barely playing live ball in 95 games since 2010.

Way to go Josh Hamilton. By now everyone should have heard Josh slammed 4 home runs and a doubled in one game vs Baltimore. That's right, FOUR home runs... all crushed. Texas slugger is the American League's first true Triple Crown threat in years. Entering Wednesday's games he leads all major leaguers with a .406 batting average, 15 home runs & 36 RBI. Glad he's on my fantasy team! Here's a guy everyone can rally around. His past drug problems have been well documented. He's in full recovery and ressurrected his career and personal life. He's was part of a horrific tragedy attempting to throw a ball to a fan who ended up dying after falling trying to catch Hamilton's soft toss. This is a man who easily could have crumbled from tough breaks. Yet, he's fought through severe emotions and tough life challenges. Let's go Josh Hamilton!!!

Poor Ryan Dempster. The Cubs starting pitcher hasn't received any run support. Dempster leads the majors with a 1.02 ERA. His record? 0-1. How can a pitcher with a 1.02 ERA not have a victory? Simply put... he plays for the Chicago Cubs!

Heeeeeeeeere's Andy. And just in time for the Yankees struggling starting rotation. Andy Pettitte returns Sunday. One of the most loved by Yankees fans in team history... Pettitte makes his comeback attempt official when he takes on the Seattle Mariners in the friendly surroundings of a sold out Yankee Stadium. Welcome back Andy. The Yankees need you.

04/14/12

Visit - "All World All Sports"

-Digger's Daily-

Back by popular demand - another installment of "All World All Sports" Random Rumblings. A few strange but true stories coming from the world of sports.

Ozzie Guillen suspended by Miami Marlins. I guess freedom of speech and expression doesn't exist in Major League Baseball. Guillen was suspended for comments he made about Fidel Castro. His comments didn't sit well with the Cuban-American crowd in South Florida which erupted into a frenzy following Guillen's praise of Castro's ability to remain free of assassination. In case you missed it, he said: "I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that son of a bitch is still there."
Obviously, his comments touched a nerve in South Florida. However, Miami suspending their new manager during the first week of baseball season is a bit much. No one can blame folks who get upset over controversial comments. However, this stinks. If Marlins ownership was truly disturbed Guillen would be gone. Marlins brass was clearly trying to avoid losing ticket sales. This isn't a pretty picture no matter how you slice and dice the situation.

Former NFL washout Ryan Leaf charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of criminal possession of a dangerous drug. Leaf could arguably be the #1 draft pick bust in NFL history. Legal troubles continue to mount. A brief description via Wikipedia.com: "In May 2009, Leaf was indicted on burglary and controlled substance charges in Texas. He was undergoing drug rehab in British Columbia at the time of the indictment and was arrested by customs agents as he returned to the United States. On June 17, 2009, he posted $45,000 bond in Washington state for the criminal charges in Texas. In April 2010, Leaf pled guilty in Amarillo, Texas to seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one count of delivery of a simulated controlled substance, all felonies. State District Judge John B. Board sentenced Leaf to 10 years of probation and fined him $20,000. - On March 30, 2012 Leaf was arrested on burglary, theft, and drug charges in his hometown of Great Falls, Montana. Four days later, Leaf was arrested again on burglary, theft, and two counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs."
Leaf's violation of parole and back to back arrests signal doom and gloom for the pain pill addicted idiot. He's been a complete washout since his college football playing days. NFL players/teammates hated his lack of work ethic. He was fired from college coaching career due to pain pills too. I guess leading a life of crime was easier than going to rehab? There's no doubt Leaf will be in jail for a few years. Over/under <1.5 character witnesses testify on Leaf's behalf.

New York Knicks climb into 2nd place in Atlantic Division - trail Boston by 3 games. Coach Mike Woodson helped turn around the Atlanta Hawks. Now he's working miracles on Broadway. The Knicks are 13-4 under his leadership and have climbed into 2nd in the Atlantic and 7th overall in Eastern Conference action. Deja vu from the shot season of 1998-99 season when the went to the NBA Finals as the 8th seed? We'll soon find out. Amazing what a mid-season coaching change can do to wake up a team. Knicks have been playing great basketball lately. Sleeper pick for sure. So was the 98-99 squad. Keep an eye on these guys.

New York Mets begin 4-0. Much has been written of Mets failures in recent years from ownership to players. New York opened their season at home and delighted fans with 4 consecutive victories to begin the new season. They swept arch rival Atlanta Braves in 3 games. Johan Santana is back. Niese pitched a 1-hitter. Duda is the new fan favorite. Wright is off to a quick start. Bullpen didn't blow any games. A solid beginning for a team trying to put turmoil in their rear view mirror. Enjoy it while it lasts.

"Rangers Fans" - Shannon and Cooper Stone statue unveiled in Arlington. Nine months after a Texas Rangers fan & father (Shannon) died trying to catch a baseball thrown by Josh Hamilton, his 7-year-old son (Cooper) helped unveil a statue honoring his father and others who love America’s pastime. Last season, Shannon Stone reached too far to catch a baseball for his son and died from injuries sustained after falling from the upper deck in front of a stunned Texas crowd. How many times have we (fans) lunged for baseball's at games? How many times have we witnessed fellow fans scramble and fight to retrieve baseball's? This time it was tragic as a father fell to his death right before his sons eyes. Texas Rangers management honored the father and son. Shannon and Cooper Stone statue is a tremendous (and heart breaking) dedication. Nolan Ryan & Rangers ownership represent baseball's best. This is a tremendous tribute - not only to the Stone's - but, for fans everywhere.

01/23/12

Random Rumblings - Rough Week of Sports News

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-Digger's Daily-

It's been a rough week in the world of sports. Family, friends and fans lost two icons. NFL Championship Games won, or lost, by miscue's sending fans into delusional fits of rage. And, a sports hero refusing to meet with President Obama.

Loss
Joe Paterno
"JoePa" passed away this weekend after losing his bout against aggressive lung cancer. Paterno was a college football legend. He coached Penn State University for over 46 years resulting on 409 victories, 37 Bowl appearances (24 wins), two national championships. His 409 victories is the most ever recorded by a Division I head coach. Over 250 of his former players entered the NFL.

Paterno was seen as a father figure within the Nittany Lions community. His image was hurt by the sexual abuse scandal which rocked PSU late in 2011 involving JoePa's former assistant coach Sandusky.

Paterno will be dearly missed by all those who knew and respected this man among men.

Sarah Burke
Sarah Burke lost her battle to survive fatal injuries suffered during practice earlier this year. She was a Canadian freestyle skier who was a pioneer of the superpipe event. Burke was a four-time Winter X Games gold medalist, and won the world championship in the halfpipe in 2005. She intensively & successfully lobbied the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to have the event added to the Olympic program for the 2014 Winter Olympics. She was instantly considered the medal favorite.

A quote from her website says it all: "Sarah is a pioneer of her generation. Her life and legacy embody the true spirit of action sports; a movement of individuals driven to innovate, master and explore the frontier of physical possibility. Sarah’s love of skiing took her life to amazing places.

Her accomplishments on skis continue to inspire girls everywhere to believe in themselves and follow their hearts. Her passing is not a cause to pack up our skis, but rather a reason to step-in and ski for Sarah and the dreams that inspired her star to shine."

Political Statement
Tim Thomas
Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Champion goaltender Tim Thomas refused to join his teammates at the White House to meet President Obama due to political differences. Thomas plans to discuss skipping the event later this evening on his Facebook page.
In the Bruins' 2011-12 media guide, Thomas, cited conservative TV pundit Glenn Beck as the person he'd most like to have dinner with.

Playoff Failures
Exciting AFC & NFC Championship Games were both decided on bad special teams plays. Baltimore Ravens lost to New England Patriots when place kicker Billy Cundiff game typing chip shot field goal attempt sailed wide left. Only a few plays earlier, wide receiver Lee Evans failed to hang onto a go-ahead touchdown reception setting up the ill-fated kick. Baltimore players were stunned at what happened ... and their dreams of playing in Super Bowl XLVI came to a crashing halt as New England players jumped with joy.
The Billy Cundiff watch has officially begun. How long will it take the Raves to sever ties with Cundiff? No quickly enough for Ravens fans.

The Giants prevailed in San Francisco after the 49ers second special teams miscue setting up a Super Bowl rematch against Belichick's Patriots. Rookie backup punt returner Kyle Williams messed up twice. The first time he failed to get out of the way of a punt which grazed his knee and the Giants recovered. The second, and most crucial, was a fumble directly leading to New York's NFC Championship Game winning overtime field goal.
Credit 49ers players for coming to the side of their beleaguered teammate. Too bad crass San Francisco fans can't find their humanity to do the same. Instead, Williams is being victimized by a slew of death threats from irate fans. Not much love found in ultra liberal San Francisco.

Just because both games were ultimately decided by bad plays doesn't warrant fans threatening players. Get a grip folks. At days end - it's only a game!!! They're going to have a very difficult time living with their goat plays. It happens to the best of players and sometimes some who just play the game. Remember Jackie Smith's dropped TD pass from Roger Staubach (Dal vs Pit SB XIII)? Scott Norwood's last second miss (NYG vs Buf XXV)? Donavan McNabb running out of gas (PHI vs NE SB XXXIX)? Or the countless other times in sports history when a bad play turned the tides. Just ask any Chicago Cubs or Boston Red Sox fan. At the end of the day we're all human and it's only a game. Give these guys a break.

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