Tag Archives: Sports

For Love of The Game: Opening Day 2018

The long winter of our discontent has finally come to an end with the start of the 2018 Major League Baseball season.

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

For the first time in decades, Major League Baseball is returning to tradition. All 30 teams will open the season on the same Opening Day: That’s right, a true Opening Day — i.e., no night-before game or an overseas contest to start things off — and that hasn’t happened since 1968. If you’re an Opening Day traditionalist, then this should be welcome news. Also, this is the earliest the MLB season has ever opened.

There has been something of a trend developing over the past couple of seasons. The Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years in 2016. The Houston Astros won their first World Series in their 52 year franchise history in 2017 (even longer if you count the predecessor Colt .45’s).

The Cleveland Indians have the current longest World Series Championship drought, 69 years (1948), and there are five expansion teams that have never won a World Series: Texas Rangers (57 years), Milwaukee Brewers (49 years), San Diego Padres (49 years), Washington Nationals (formerly Montreal Expos) (49 years), and Seattle Mariners (41 years). If the trend continues, one of these teams may break their World Series drought this season.

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Steve Kerr: ‘Vote people in who actually have the courage to protect people’s lives’

University of Arizona basketball legend and current coach of the NBA world champion Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr, had some words of advice on a subject near and dear to him — gun violence — following the mass shooting in a Florida high school this week. VIDEO.

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Steve Kerr on Florida shooting: ‘Vote people in who actually have the courage to protect’:

Steve Kerr is not sticking to sports.

The Golden State Warriors head coach who is seldom hesitant to speak his mind on non-basketball issues was asked Wednesday his thoughts on the shooting at a Florida high school earlier in the day that has left at least 17 dead, the latest in a plague of U.S. mass killings perpetrated by citizens with access to military-style assault rifles.

Kerr was blunt in his criticism of federal lawmakers, the National Rifle Association and a White House whose national security priorities focus on building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Well, nothing has been done. It doesn’t seem to matter to our government that children are being shot to death day after day, in schools. It doesn’t matter that people are being shot at a concert, at a movie theater.  It’s not enough apparently to move our leadership, our government, the people who are running this country to actually do anything. That’s demoralizing.”

“But we can do something about it. We can vote people in who actually have the courage to protect people’s lives, and not just bow down to the NRA because they have financed their campaign for them. Hopefully we’ll find enough people, first of all, to vote good people in, but hopefully we can find enough people with courage to help our citizens remain safe and focus on the real safety issues.  Not building some stupid wall for billions of dollars that has nothing to do with our safety, but actually protecting us from what truly is dangerous, which is maniacs with semiautomatic weapons just slaughtering our children. It’s disgusting.”

Kerr’s statement will rile up the stick-to-sports crowd. But Kerr doesn’t care.

Kerr has previously said gun control should be considered a public health issue.

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The NFL takes a knee against our white-supremacist-in-chief Donald Trump

No individual has disgraced and diminished the office of the presidency with his puerile conduct more than Donald Trump. Vladimir Putin could not be more pleased with his handiwork and  the damage that Trump is inflicting on the status and moral  leadership of the presidency. Trump is systematically attempting to dismantle the foundational principles, values and mores of American democracy.

Putin pal Donald Trump is no position to question the patriotism of any American.

Over the weekend, Donald Trump turned his plan to divide Americans  on America’s professional sports teams and athletes — in particular, African-American athletes who protest police violence against minorities — something Donald Trump has encouraged, Trump’s speech encouraging police to be ‘rough’, and more recently, to protest Trump’s failure to adequately condemn white supremacist hate speech after Charlottesville.

In this regard, the U.S. Congress unanimously agrees that Trump has failed to adequately condemn white supremacist hate speech. Congress takes Trump to task over his Charlottesville comments.

President Trump is trying to silence athletes who protest police violence in his “law and order,”  i.e. , institutional racism world, and more directly, silence critics of his white supremacy by attempting to reframe their protests as unpatriotic and disrespect for the flag. “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel” – Samuel Johnson, 1775.

We have seen this right-wing play before when the Bush-Cheney regime tried to silence the Dixie Chicks for their public criticism of their unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq.  Like the Dixie Chicks, NFL players, coaches and owners were Not Ready to Make Nice on Sunday.

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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.

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Muslim sports heroes respond to Donald Trump

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

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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.”

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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.

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