Archive for August, 2010

Fast Ball

August 30, 2010

The Cincinnati Reds have what might be the best secret weapon in baseball. That weapon is Aroldis Chapman.

The young Cuban born pitcher was clocked at a mind-blowing 105mph. That’s right, 105.

Now I know it’s one thing to throw a ball that fast, usually if anyone can even get close to that they throw the ball wildly and with no control. Not Chapman. He was blowing away hitters in his last appearance in Triple A ball, getting three straight swinging strikeouts in his only inning of work.

So far the only concern I have about Chapman is how long it will be before he gets hurt. Throwing 105 put’s a lot of stress on an arm and with the way pitchers drop like flies now-a-days I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chapman become a victim of an arm injury. I’m curious to see how the Reds handle the situation. Do they set up a Joba Rules type of system? Did that even really work?

He is used as a relief pitcher and if the injury to the Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg taught Dusty Baker and the Reds anything it is that they should move Chapman along with extreme caution.

You can be certain the Chapman will be called up to the Majors once the roster expands to 40 players come September. Only then will we see if he has what it takes to pitch against the best baseball players in the world. Till then all we really know is that the kid can throw gas.

This is actually the last time you see the ball until it's in the catcher's mitt

One Love,

Julian

P.S. Is Tim Cowlishaw the most hated sportswriter in New York right now? I vote yes.

P.P.S. Jim Edmonds had hands down the best catch in recent memory (second to that Japanese guy Nick wrote about). Unfortunately, like Nick, I can’t find the video.

He starts pitching at around the 1:50 mark.

the yankees should keep close ties with the hiroshima carp

August 30, 2010


When I saw Masato Akamatsu, an outfielder on the japanese baseball team the Hiroshima Toyo Carp (yeah….), make a spider-man, super-man, gymnast amalgamation of a catch earlier this August, I remember heading straight for google to see if the video was one of those computer manipulations, the product of some geek with too much time (wait, I can’t talk).

I also remember, after reaching page 4 of google and finding no evidence of phoniness, watching Sportscenter (the video wasn’t on the web yet) on loop for 2 or 3 episodes to see the catch again and again (although I usually don’t remember to change the channel, and do this anyway, and I know it happens to everyone).

The catch was simply incredible, even from the unfortunate zoomed-out camera we’re able to see that the play was easily one of the best in a long, long time, and, in my opinion, ever.

sidenote: the best catch ever was by Eric Byrnes when he was on the Athletics.  It happened a few years ago and I can’t find it anywhere on the internet, I literally just got back from my search tab…no avail….and yes, Julian, it is the best catch ever made. –if anyone can find a catch where byrnes dives backwards in centerfield, do send–

And after I spent the past few weeks giving the video occasional revisits just to see it again and get excited for a second (catches excite me), we were graced with another, maybe better, catch.  Oddly enough, too, from the same team in the same stadium.  Is it a result of the stadium?  or is it just the carp?  I need to check out their stats to see if they can actually hit or if they recruit the circus.  They might want to find new southpaws… both hits were off lefties.

The Yankees need to keep good relations with these japanese teams, especially the carp, because these japs sure can jump, climb, scale, fly, eat lead, catch bullets, anything.

I say make the Carp a farm team and shoot Akamatsu up to the majors to play centerfield immediately, there is no possible way he can possibly hit worse than Curtis Granderson.

Watch them for yourself, and if you’ve already seen them, here they both are again.


Which one is better? And where are these catches on the MLB? aside from Eric Byrnes, of course

Give him a chance…

August 28, 2010

Would-be draftee Tony Washington’s NFL future is being derailed by his sad past


Allison Glock writes a great story about Tony Washington, an aspiring NFL lineman whose past has, for 8 years, –in my opinion, unfairly– chained him down.

A lengthy read, but it’s definitely worth your time.  It dives into litigious reconsiderations and opinions, an overwhelming sense of social taboo and awareness, or unawareness, and the second chance Tony undeniably deserves.

Awesome narrative, although a bit belabored and sometimes can be easily second guessed, that contains some well written excerpts.  The piece could, in itself, help aid the NFL’s awareness.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5497517


-hopeful day,

nicktgal



p.s. it’s Saturday, Tim

I’m a sad Jets fan

August 27, 2010


There are three extraordinary things happening during this Jets preseason compared to any other:

1. We have tenable hope
2. We have a gigantic, critical holdout
3. Fuck yeah, we were picked for HBO’s Hard Knocks

Quiz: Which one do I wish is not on that list?

A couple days ago I, and the entire Jets nation, who, like I, is eyeing week 1 with shaking anticipation, was given a glimpse that perhaps that foreboding holdout, Darrelle Revis’ holdout, was coming to an imminent end.

That glimpse was from the hope-giving, lovable, wonderful, intelligent, one of a kind, Tim Cowlishaw. Tim,  (from all the way down in Dallas! With absolutely no reason to grace us with such great news other than being some sort of journalistic philanthropist!) on Saturday, tweeted

(@TimCowlishaw): Revis and Jets announce new deal, probably Wednesday. You heard it here first. “Inside information!”


……………….



OH MY GOD. HOLY CRAP.  That was the best slice of good news I had heard in a looooooooooooooooong loooong time.  Quickly I went to facebook, to the retweet button, to my bbm group consisting of Jets fan, and announced the winner of Super Bowl 45:  THE NEW YORK JETS!  And quickly I was responded to with “I am the happiest kid in the world,” “Super bowl champs!,” and “I just &#@!(# my pants!”

And as the day went on, there were your obligatory “Revis rumors not true” remarks from giants fans, guarded Jets fan, and even some ESPN reporters, i.e. Adam Schefter.

But hey, I refused to listen, I was too happy.

I even wittingly overlooked Cowlishaw’s incompetent, flat, linear article prose.

So I continued.

“Cowlishaw must be right, he writes for the Dallas Morning News, the largest newspaper in Dallas (and yeah, it’s the south, but still), and he’s even on ESPN!!”

Besides, he even wrote a whole article for Dallasnews.com stating:

As for those who said I was making it up to get more followers: Does that sound like a good thing to do? I’ve worked for The Dallas Morning News for more than 20 years, ESPN for another seven. Is just making stuff up and having no clue about it a big part of my history?

I mean, for him to release some sort of god-given “inside information” and then writing a related article defending his credibility, his source bust be pretty damn “inside.”  Journalists’ entire careers ride on their credibility, right?

But, I guess not so.

To my chagrin, it seems that I, along with my fellow Jet fans and now premature #*%*((@s, may have been duped.  Duped by the butt of the joke himself.

It started when placatory Tim started stumbling backwards, tripping over himself as he went:

@TimCowlishaw: Jets’ meeting with Revis’ people tonite will decide if I was a little overconfident in my initial prediction. But they’re talking.

And

An article saying that he is taking all the responsibility for his misreports and not blaming his source (although he kind of did in a few sentences.)

Two terribly ominous pieces of journalistic shit.

So, now without any actual optimism regarding Revis and him signing tomorrow, here I go again, delving ESPN, CBS, Fox, everywhere (not Dallas MN, though, I boycott them forever) for reports saying Antonio Cromartie is back to his old, badass form, and that Kyle Wilson is making precocious progress.  And I’m finding some stuff, too.

Cromartie, aside from his child-listing faux pas, which could have actually been the fault of HBO, hasn’t made headlines for anything other than his on-the-field turnaround, which, with his past, is a wonderful portent.  And Kyle Wilson was highly praised by Rex Ryan on week 2 of Hard Knocks, although Rex mediated by saying “he’s no Revis.”

And, to my surprise, as last year was miserable for Lowery, Dwight Lowery and Marquice Cole showed they can at least be somewhat effective nickel backs  in the absence of Revis.

So, like I said: “#1.  We have tenable hope.”


_______
Tomorrow is Saturday, dooms day or pay day.

And even if Revis signs, Tim, great job!, but from now on, keep your business in dumpy Texas, with your way-too-big screens and Steve Slatons.

But if Sunday comes and Revis is still alone on his island,

1.  I might cry.

2.  I’m siccing chewie on Cowlishaw.


hopeful,

nicktgal


my prison

August 22, 2010

This is the supermarket that stops me from constantly posting my wonderful thoughts for you to read. As you can see it is ghostly empty, it drains me of the minuscule creativity and motivation that I possess.

i’m sure you’ve seen it, but just in case

August 21, 2010

I laughed until I realized that he might be seriously hurt, no, just kidding, I just laughed.

good job, Brandon

Schadenfreude!

with a grin,

nicktgal

p.s.   hey bart scott, dive on the ball!


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Roger, what have you done?

August 20, 2010


short piece on clemens and steroids… I know, I know, everyone is tired of steroids, but it’s 4:30 on a friday, I have a volleyball game later and a night to plan out, excuse the creative juice dam.

_____

I recently perused a Bill Simmons tweet (I say tweet, sorry New York Times) that said:

This is like twitter porn for me. RT @rogerclemens: I never took HGH or Steroids. And I did not lie to Congress.

And after reading it, and after a slight chortle for good ole’ Bill, who, on a side note, is my favorite sportswriter, and, unlike every person on Barstool sports, knows the english language, I’m not sure if I feel bad for Roger Clemens or if I just plain hate him.

(if you’re ever thinking of clicking your “barstool sports” bookmark, navigate to the Sports Guy’s world instead)

–a future blog will expound that notion

On one side, it’s obvious that he isn’t the only one who juiced, lied about it, or benefited physically from it.  And it’s obvious that it isn’t really his fault that his performance on the field has only led to emphasized scrutiny and vilification (well it is, but how could he have known that?).  So, really, you have to pity that, at least a little…come on… a little? no?  okay.

But, on the other extreme, come on Roger, will you handle something correctly, for once? With the help of Brian Mcnamee, Andy Pettitte, your lying and your hubris, you locked the bars on your cell.  Look at all the guys who admitted to steroid usage still playing and litigation free, you made the wrong choice.

And now you’re continuing your “innocence display” on something like Twitter? You screwed over every team you played for.  You caused contretemps in 1999 demanding a trade, pissed off the Yankees so much to the point that they didn’t include you in their “Yankee Stadium farewell video,” and you floated around like annoying Brett Favre  at the end of your asterisked career.  You are, as Simmons put it, a player that belongs to no team.  At least if you were “a Red Sox,” (Red Sock? is a single player a Red Sox? or a Red Sock? dumb name)  or a “true Yankee,” you’d at least have some sort of backing, but you’re not.  You’re being compared to Shaquille O’neal, the growing joke of the NBA, which is a joke in itself.  If I were you, I’d stop tweet-tweeting, Twitter won’t help you now.

I don’t think anybody likes you anymore, sorry William Roger.


the shot heard around the world is not the shot heard around mine

August 19, 2010


I’m not sure if a simple youtube embedment and a single sentence suffices as a “good” post, so, for those readers who might have been a bit confused by tinman-with-no-heart’s latest post (I was, and I am part of this blog -I like to think of myself as forth, and tinman as backwards), here is a short explanation.

While sitting in a dim, skeezy, almost slimy bar – for those who are familiar, Southside Inn –  last night watching the yankees on fuzzy standard definition television last night, Julian and I, refreshed by ESPN’s bottomline, began talking about the topic of Bobby Thomson, the everlasting New York icon who put the Giants into the World Series over the (now underachieving, pathetic) Dodgers.

We spoke about the Polo grounds, what it must have been like to be a ball fan back when “America’s Past time” was actually becoming the past time, and, overall, how much different ball must have been back then.  We proceeded to the obligatory “I wish I knew Babe Ruth” conversation, and then returned back to Bobby Thomson and his home run in game 3.  The conversation halted, though, when I admitted that I had not actually ever “seen” the old mottled clip of the “the shot heard around the world.”  I, in all my baseball knowledge, the most vast baseball encyclopedia in the world!, had never seen the clip.  So, when I went home, after some violent deprecation from my counterpart, I promptly went to my computer, (like usual, because, honestly, I’m starting to think I don’t have much of a life) found the clip, watched it, and read as much on Bobby Thomson as I possibly could before my urge to play video games became unbearable.

sidenote:  The Associated Press article on Bobby Thomson on ESPN.com is well researched and very informative

But even after watching the clip, reading the articles, looking at the stats, and hearing what might have been, honestly, the coolest, most emotional home run call in history, I, at age 22, and having been born 37 years after the shot, was still emotionally distant from the biggest moment in “New York baseball history.”  I’m simply too young to even, honestly, care.

Having realized this, I immediately recalled what is probably the most significant sports moment in my lifetime.   (more…)

Shot Heard ‘Round the World

August 18, 2010

This one is for Nick who has never seen what some say is the greatest homerun ever hit.


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What the game’s been missing

August 16, 2010

For as long as I can remember the MLB has been all about offense. Mainly about who can hit the most homeruns each year. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it took a lot away from the game, and any true baseball fan can see that.

Finally in 2010 the “Year of the Pitcher” has, at long last, arrived again (I know it’s cliche but I had to use it). What else can you call a year where there have been two perfect games thrown and three no hitters. On top of that, four no-hitters have been broken up in the 9th inning. Most notably Galarraga’s perfect game that was nullified by the one of the worst calls in baseball all season long.

This season has seen the most no-hitters (5) since eight of them were thrown in 1991. What a coincidence, the last time there were more no hitters than this season was right before steroids began to make a strong presence in the game.

There is something majestic about a pitcher going into the 9th and having zeros’ across the board. No matter what pitcher it is you find yourself rooting for them to finish off their gem (Well they’re usually gems except for Edwin Jackson’s 8 walk no-hitter).

I don’t know anybody who was rooting against Armando Galarraga. I can’t remember being as frustrated with a call as I was with the blown call at first base, and I don’t even like the Tiger’s.

Brandon Morrow had what was probably the most dominating pitching performance of the year when he struck out 17 Rays. He too lost a no-hitter in the 9th inning with 2 outs. It doesn’t get much more exciting than that.

To me watching the last inning of a game with a pitcher trying to finish a no-hitter is more exciting and riveting than watching a hitter go for homerun number 600 or 700. Maybe it’s because I know that the last few hitters to get there (besides maybe Griffey) have betrayed the game of baseball.

The re-emergence of strong pitching (or have hitters just gotten worse?) has forced baseball to go back to what I like most about it: teams playing small ball. Sure a homerun is needed at times, but now teams are stealing more bases and relying more on stringing together hits than just sending up a juiced up goon to smash one out of the park.

I don’t know if anyone will agree with me but I have enjoyed this season of baseball more than any recent season. Yes even more than the Yankee’s championship season last year.

And it’s not like offense is gone from the game. Jose Bautista has hit 37 homeruns already. Arod has almost 100 RBIs. Simply put, offensive numbers are coming at a more steady, normal rate, not the inflamed and exponential rates that we had seen in the past decade or so. As a matter of fact, this year has seen the lowest power numbers in the league since 1993.

Hopefully baseball continues on the path that it has taken this year.

P.S.- Can anyone explain why the Rays are always in the middle of no-hitters? I mean they’re an awesome hitting team. Just doesn’t make sense to me.



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