Tag Archives: Sports

Opening Day: For Love of the Game

The long winter of our discontent has finally come to an end with the start of the 2017 Major League Baseball season.

Sunday marks the “official” TV start of the season with three games, the NY Yankees v. Tampa Bay Rays, San Francisco Giants v. Arizona Diamondbacks, and the defending World Champion Chicago Cubs v. St. Louis Cardinals.

World Champion Chicago Cubs . . . I waited a lifetime to be able to say that!

Monday is the traditional Opening Day, otherwise known as the most beautiful phrase in the English language, with a full slate of games scheduled.

My 2016 Minnesota Twins were the worst team that Minnesota has ever witnessed in 56 seasons of Major League Baseball, and the worst team in Major League Baseball with only 59 wins. At least they get some high round draft picks. The Chicago Cubs made up for my misery last season.

According to Bleacher Report predictions for the 2017 season, this season’s division winners should not be much different from last season: AL East: Boston Red Sox, AL Central: Cleveland Indians, AL West: Houston Astros, NL East: Washington Nationals, NL Central: Chicago Cubs, NL West: San Francisco Giants.

You know what they say about predictions: this is why we play the game. We’ll see who is still standing at the end of 162 games come October when baseball’s “second season” playoffs begin.

Continue reading

Muslim sports heroes respond to Donald Trump

In response to President Obama’s address to the nation on Sunday night, Donald Trump tweeted this:

Screenshot from 2015-12-11 16:13:01

Seriously? On Wednesday, “The Greatest” — Mohammad Ali — responded indirectly to “The Donald” and his bigoted tweet. Muhammad Ali Hits at Trump and ‘Misguided Murderers Sabotaging Islam:

MohammadAliLike the champion fighter he is, Muhammad Ali took jabs Wednesday at “so called Islamic Jihadists” and those who would “use Islam to advance their own personal agenda.”

But the real target of Ali’s roundhouse was Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The statement never mentions Trump by name — but its headline is “Presidential Candidates Proposing to Ban Muslim Immigration to the United States.”

Continue reading

Talking Baseball: Will the Cubs finally end the ‘curse of the Billy Goat’?

billygoatI was hesitant to post about this, so as not to curse the Chicago Cubs, but then it occurred to me that there is nothing I could do that the cursed Billy Goat has not already done to the Cubs.

There are some similarities between this year’s Chicago Cubs and the 2004 Boston Red Sox, who ended their World Series “curse of the Bambino.”

The Red Sox were a wild card team that year, and had to face their longtime rivals and nemesis, the New York Yankees. The Red Sox went down 3 games to one in the ALCS, and were trailing in the ninth inning of game 4, before they rallied for the win. The Sox went on to win three straight and go to the World Series. In the World Series, the Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series in one of the most improbable post season runs in baseball history.

Since then, the Boston Red Sox have won two more World Series, in 2007 and 2013. The “curse of the Bambino” is no more.

This year’s Chicago Cubs are also a wild card team, and had to face their longtime rivals and nemesis, the St. Louis Cardinals, winners of 11 World Series titles, in the NLDS. After dropping game one, the  Cubs went on to win three straight and move on to the NLCS. They will face another New York team, the Mets. Longtime Cubs fans would like nothing better than to avenge the collapse of the Cubs in 1969 — who were in 1st place in late August — that led to the “Miracle Mets” winning the World Series.

Continue reading

Talking Baseball: Memorial Day standings and the post-season playoffs

Baseball statisticians have for years asserted that the standings of baseball teams on Memorial Day are a good predictor of whether your favorite baseball team will make the post-season playoffs or not. But is it true? Well, yes and no in the wildcard era.

Which is good news for my surprising Minnesota Twins this year!

Doug Miller writes at MLB.com, What’s Next: History favors division leaders:

baseballsMemorial Day is full of somber remembrance but also seasonal celebration. We honor those who gave their lives protecting the United States and its freedoms while serving in the military, but we find time to cut loose at backyard barbecues and fete the coming of June and summer proper.

* * *

It’s natural to view Memorial Day, then, as a significant baseball benchmark. Some might wonder if it’s already curtains for the hometown nine that hasn’t gotten it going by now. Some might continue to look at the Major League season as not even a third complete and maintain the optimism of Opening Day.

The big question, as always, is this: Can the clubs that would be postseason-bound entering Memorial Day 2015 last and make it into October?

Continue reading

The Arizona Daily Star goes to pot(holes)

Our sad small town newspaper, the Arizona Daily Star (all the news that Jim Click decides is fit to print) is at it again. This takes tying together a series of reports this week.

The Star’s columnist Tim Steller today has a piece captioned How about the Tucson Pothole Bowl? Now I don’t know whether Steller captions his own columns. Typically a copy editor, in this case the Star’s notorious creative headline writer whom we have belittled for years probably came up with this caption, because nowhere in Steller’s column does he even mention the word “pothole.” The copy editor didn’t even bother to read his piece to come up with this caption.

The caption is actually in reference to a report in the Star earlier in the week.

Pat McNamara in an above-the-fold front page story on Monday — because it was a slow news day? — reported that We’re No. 1 — in potholes:

A.MillerScientific verification of what every Tucson driver already knows can be found in a report by the Making Action Possible Dashboard project of the University of Arizona Eller College of Management, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona and the Southern Arizona Leadership Council.

Their pothole index report says Tucson regional streets rank worst among a collection of 11 Western urban regions.

[Photo of Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller lying in a pothole. (h/t The Tucson Weekly). Miller is opposed to the County Bond election, and supports Republicans in the Arizona legislature sweeping stealing HURF funds for roadways and state revenue sharing funds from Pima County.]

Continue reading

Arizona Wildcats win PAC 12 South! Bring on the Ducks!

The University of Arizona Wildcats defeated the Tempe Normal School Bulldogs (ASU Sun Devils) 42-35 in Arizona Stadium to win the PAC 12 South Division — with an assist from the Stanford Cardinal defeating the UCLA Bruins — and won the Territorial Cup. Bring on the Ducks! Go Cats!

TerritorialCup

Get your FCG tickets now (Ticketmaster.com)

Friday, December 5, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.