Posts Tagged ‘Ken Griffey Jr’

College football is finally here. And next week we’ll celebrate the beginning of the NFL season. These events also signify the end of the awkward time of year when baseball needs to carry the weight for the four major sports.

As a final thank you to baseball for providing entertainment during the hockey, football, and basketball offseasons, I’d just like to sum up a few key moments from the last couple months.

The Kid retires- Ken Griffey finally called it quits. After a few weeks of being treated like shit by the media, Griffey Jr. finally gave in and announced his retirement. This maybe hit me a little harder as he was one of my first childhood heroes, but his end to baseball was unfitting for one of the most respected players in baseball history. He was one of the few clean players able to make a name for himself during the steroid era and will be an easy Hall of Famer. While the asterisk has been used as a notation for the substance abusers of the past decade, Griffey Jr. should be the one with the asterisk next to his name so that the future will always remember that his numbers are an understatement of his dominance and there’s no telling how much more he could have produced in a non-steroid era. I think we all wish he had decided he had to retire at the end of last year, but at least he ended on a high note with the walk off hit.

Ken Griffey Jr.* *Never tested positive for, or was accused of, substance abuse during baseball's "Steroid Era".

Ozzie can’t keep his damn mouth shut- Let’s at least give him credit that he brought up a good, debatable issue. Too bad he can never present anything in a reasonable manner. The comparison of a Spanish speaking player to a Japanese speaking player in the United States is just not bringing tons of sympathy. He really just highlighted how hard Japanese players have it and how few people speak Japanese in the US. Of course, he is correct that non-native English speakers should always have access to translators if they feel they need it, and hopefully he’s encouraged all new players to work this into their contracts, but why did he continue with his banter about how he’s the only one warning Latinos about drug use? Especially when the League is spending much more time warning Latinos about drug use than they are warning Asians. And bringing up the mention of rookie salary when there’s a clear difference of signing an inexperienced player from Latin America and a player who has already proven himself in an Asian professional league. Guillen definitely has some points and is bringing up things that should be considered, but it would be nice if he would realize that these are highly debatable issues and there are clear arguments against his emotional rambling.

The Cardinals and Reds put on a show- It was a dick move, but HILARIOUS (maybe not for Cardinals fans) when Brandon Phillips decided to publicly shit talk St Louis. One day before playing them, he actually called them “bitches”…”all of them”. It would have been disappointing if a brawl hadn’t broken out. Those front row, behind the plate seats were worth every penny as the whole field got pushed up against the backstop. The show included beatings left and right, including kicks in the head provided by Red’s pitcher Johnny Cueto. And hey, Ozzie, one of his teammates acted as his translator during his press interview.

"I hate the Cardinals. All they do is bitch and moan about everything, all of them, they're little bitches, all of 'em."

A-Rod, with a struggle, hit 600 homeruns- This really wasn’t that exciting. Maybe it was for A-Rod personally, but for the public, no. For the last 10 years, we’ve all been waiting for him to do this. No one ever doubted it would happen. What was interesting to me, though, was the little coverage on his steroid use. A-Rod is destined to be the homerun king, but while Barry Bonds’ road to the top was covered by hateful media as he became the face for the steroid era, A-Rod’s is glory, media support, and maybe one line thrown in about his steroid use. As a Giants fan and a Bonds fan, I can’t say that I’m not bitter about this.

The Nationals’ had a rookie sensation for a couple months- He was all I heard about for weeks. The anticipation was incredible. He was supposed to be the biggest thing to happen to baseball. And he actually lived up to his hype in his first start. He dominated. His rookie card went for an absurd amount of money, a stupid amount of money, even if he had continued playing well. Instead, we saw the rookie pitcher’s season come to a halt within a few months of his MLB debut.  The rookie phenom just underwent Tommy John surgery, which will keep him out all next season. Hopefully he can bounce back and continue to live up to his reputation, but we’ll have to wait until the 2012 season to find out.

As a side note, keep an eye on Buster Posey. As a rookie, he’s been carrying the Giants in their playoff race, and has put up incredible numbers thus far. He’s currently hitting .329 with 10 homeruns and 54 RBIs (about 1/10 of the Giants’ total RBIs) in just 82 games.

100 game winners? – As the season comes to end we should have some excitement to see if either the Yankees or the Rays can reach 100. Although both are on pace to break 100, their 7 games against each other in the final weeks and the almost certainty that they will both be going to playoffs make this a bit less likely.

To summarize:

Dear MLB, thanks for, once again, getting us through summer.

-The Sand-Rant

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MLB Minute: Griffey!

Posted: May 21, 2010 by The Bearded Guy in Baseball
Tags: , , , ,

Don’t Call it a comeback, as ESPN said he, “awakened from his slumber” to deliver a walk off hit today to beat the Blue Jays.  In this month the Blue Jays have been on a tear, while the Mariners, well, have not.  Yet, the Blue Jays are still the third best team in the division, and last time I checked that did not mean jack.  On the other hand, Griffey proves that he doesn’t belong in a home watching TV Land episodes of Golden Girls, at least not yet, despite his loss of power, his perfect swing can still produce results in the clutch.  So in the end, this game might not mean anything, but it’s nice to see Griffey convert the opportunity and get his name out there for something other than his recent naps.

All Smiles, No Yawns

Look for a perspective on Floyd Landis coming soon

The Bearded Guy

So I haven’t quit my day job as an ALT, in fact I picked up two spelling classes to train my students to beat the students of  백의리 (Baegui-ri) elementary in the upcoming competition. Why you ask? Actually you don’t… but I am going to tell you anyways The Blasian has been prepping his kids all year and I said I could get my kids up to his level in less than two months and we are going to have a little exchange of funds based on the results of the Yeoncheon Golden Bell. So maybe that explains the simply wong-less.  Yet here I am posting again.

Not quiet Golden Bell Yeon Cheon

15 minutes stuck on the number 13

At the start of the weekend some young pitcher was making noise about calling A-Rod out for stepping over his mound. Most sports fans thought ‘who is this guy again?’ But after the conclusion of the weekend we will have to take notice of the guy who hates when people touch his dirt. A-Rod had down played him, clowned him, and then had to bite his tongue come Sunday.

No one's on Alex's side now

As everyone has said now Grandma Braden is the one running her mouth. Braden does have to live with the fact that the stadium was 34.9% full, at best considering, that a lot of times those  statistics are  inflated by the teams. At least this way, Grandma didn’t have to worry about fighting crowds while coming down to greet her grandson.  All jest aside what Dallas did was amazing, 19 times it has happened in 141 seasons. Making rarer than seeing a lot of comets. Last year, I was in Chicago and got the chance to catch a game, since I am not a Chicago fan (Royals For Life) I refused to put on my friends Buehrle jersey. We ended up having the seats used by Gatorade at U.S. Cellular behind home plate 7 rows back and saw Buehrle become number 18 on the list! Both games against Tampa Bay, odd for how good they have been lately.  It was a great memory but more importantly, as Braden would reiterate,  it was whom your with that makes it last…

Having the Last Laugh for now

Griffey

This cost him some potential homers

The Kid has died….in fact he died probably mid 2003 and it made sense…the guy had been in the league 14 years and had always been all or nothing guy. My Childhood hero has now been mortal for roughly 7 years.  I love him for it, he’s as clean as a bleached shirt. Ultimately he may go down as the only player to come out of the 90’s/00’s without a tarnished name.  He wore his hat backwards, sadly still does. So far this year he has hit .208 with five RBIs in the DH or PH role. In fact, it seems he’s so mortal that he needs  mid-game naps.

"Hey Ichiro, vouch for me I just drank an Ensure and Im really drowsy"

In my discussions with our new contributor about my favorite player, the athlete formerly known as the kid, vs her’s, the scapegoat of the steroid era, Barry Bonds. The Sand-rant has continually suggested that Griffey get the asterisk and everyone from the era just go down as having competed against the the each other. I think its the first time the asterisk would be used to represent something positive. But The ranter has a point, baseball is an era sport, the other home run era of Ruth and Maris was aided by the limited use of relief pitching. Imagine Griffey, Bonds, McGwire, Pujols, or any other current heavy hitter going against a guy who had pitched 7 innings already and is starting to throw canned corn. All I know is when Griffey retires and he should soon, we all need to celebrate the competitor he was.

Enjoy

The Bearded Guy

I was recently recalling the sports movies of my  youth (the movies of The Mark’s post college experience), and started to see a trend. Hands down 1994 was the best year for sports movies. Not only Sports movies, but movies in general, here is the list of who was up for the Academy Award for Best Picture:

Forrest Gump

The Shawshank Redemption

Pulp Fiction

Four Weddings and Funeral

Quiz Show

What other line up has that much power! Then throw in the fact that it was the year of The Lion King, Dumb and Dumber, Clerks, Legends of the Fall, Natural Born Killers, The Mask, Speed, True Lies, Camp Nowhere, Ace Ventura, Blank Check,  and Wyatt Earp.

But back to my point, it was the sports movies that made the year.

One of many great sports movies!

Little Giants: Rick Moranis of the “Honey We Shrunk” series coaches a team of outcast and under sized kids (Little Giants) against Ed O’Neil’s, from “Married with Children” and more recently “Modern Family”, power house program (Cowboys). It’s an NFC East showdown in the middle of Ohio.  Ed O’Neil plays the local legend who comes back to the small town bask in the glory and coach a cut-throat Pop Warner Team. Moranis plays his brother who has always been overshadowed and wants to help kids from falling by the way side.  A David and Goliath story for sure, but with much more humor.

What are they doing now: Shawna Waldron, Becky “The Icebox” O’Shea, starred recently in the erotic thriller, Poison Ivy: The Secret Society. Apparently loaded with special features!

Pro Power: John Madden, Bruce Smith, Emmitt Smith, Tim Brown, and Steve Emtman.

Best Quote: “Without Icebox, Spike’s going to rip off my face and wear it for Halloween”

Staying Power: Just Watched it for the 90th time and might restart it!

Everyone kid's dream, besides Grandpa dying

Little Big League: Luke Edwards inherits the Minnesota Twins from his deceased Grandfather, and the takes on the roll of skipper. Turning the team from some misfits to the verge of a playoff run. Probably winning Manager of the year, while trying to balance is childhood friendships.

What are they doing now: Luke Edwards has been making a name for himself in Jeepers Creepers 2 and hopefully a 3rd one that is in development now!

Pro Power: In a one game playoff against the Mariners, The Twins face Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, and Lou Piniella. Beyond that there are cameos by Ivan Rodriguez, Sandy Alomar Jr., Carlos Baegra, Wally Joyner, Rafael Palmeiro, Tim Raines,  Chris Berman, and others.

Best Quote:

McGrevey: I think you should trade me.
Mac: As soon as we find someone stupid enough to take you, that’s EXACTLY what we’re gonna do.

Staying Power: Downloading it now, want to catch up on lost time.

Above the Rim:  Duane Martin stars as basketball star who wants to go where Patrick Ewing and A.I. went to school.  He trying to find a balance between the streets and court.  Featuring the smash song by Warren G “Regulators”, and other hard hitting songs on the soundtrack.

What are they doing now: Duane Martin is now making some appearance in “Rita Rocks“, a show about a mother who starts a garage band (Can’t make that Shit up).

Pro Power:  Tupac, although he wasn’t an athlete he counts for this section!

Best Quote: “I was just thinkin bout spreadin my fingers and poppin my wrist.”

Staying Power:  One and done!

Interesting Concept

The Air Up There: Jimmy Dolan (Kevin Bacon) is a college basketball coach trying to land a big time sensation from Africa, Saleh. Only problem, why would Saleh be convinced to leave Africa for America, there seems to be a history there. Does anyone else see why he might be hesitant?  It comes down to a game verse a mining company that will make all the difference.

What are they doing now:  What isn’t Kevin Bacon doing? But recently he was in Frost/Nixon.

Pro Power: Although no Pro athletes are credited Dikembe Mutombo‘s brother is in the movie.

Best Quote:

Jimmy Dolan : Sister! You’re allowed to kiss?
Sister Susan: [smiling] Only if I really mean it!

Staying Power:  I saw it in theaters when I was 8 and haven’t seen it since.

Blue Chips: Nick Nolte plays Coach Bell a coach who is struggling with the morality of recruiting in the college basketball ranks. In order to get the top players, the coach sells out and has to deal with the path he chose at school and home.   Ed O’Neil also stars in this film as Ed. Shaq and Penny Hardaway are a couple of Nolte’s players.

Penny's acting debut

What are They Doing Now: Nick Nolte was the crazy Vietnam vet in Tropic Thunder. Shaq has won four NBA titles and Penny had little Penny Nike Commercials.

Pro Power:  Shaq, Penny, Bob Cousy, Bob Knight, Rick Pitino, Larry Bird, and others.

Best Quote:  “Dwayne, you can get through college half-assed. Richard, you can get through LIFE half-assed. But I’ll guarantee you boys one thing: sure as hell, I’ll guarantee you this: you cannot *win* half-assed!”

Staying Power: Relevant today with all sorts of recruiting violations occurring daily!

Chi-towns Finest

Hoop Dreams: A Documentary about two high school basketball players in Chicago, William Gates and Arthur Agee, who are trying to make it to the next level. They are being heavily recruited but struggling with their academics.

What are they doing now:  “Gates said that after the film was released, his high school shunned him, his teammates “must have hated” him for the attention, and the NCAA revoked his and Arthur Agee’s athletic scholarships for becoming “professionals.

Pro Power:  Dick Vitale, Juan Howard, Chris Webber, Bobby Knight, and Coach K all make appearances.

Best Quote: “People always say to me, “when you get to the NBA, don’t forget about me.” Well, I should’ve said back, “if I don’t make it to the NBA, don’t you forget about me.”

Staying Power: Great Documentary about the realities of making it to the pros and college ranks.

Brendan Fasier's high point

The Scout: Albert Brooks plays a scout who discovers a top prospect Steve Nebraska, played by Brendan Fraser, in Mexico. Steve Nebraska serves as Brook’s redemption for past failures of his other prospects.

What are they doing now: Brendan Fraser is producing hits like Journey to the Center of the Earth or something like that and it’s sequel. Thanks Brendan!

Pro Power:  Bob Costas, Ozzie Smith, Bret Saberhagen, and George Steinbrenner III and others.

Best Quote: “I’m the Yankee, not you!”  Using best quote very loosely!

Staying Power:  Saw it on TV, didn’t feel like seeing it again.

On top of all these originals there were three sports sequels that were released.

The Runner-Ups

D2: The Mighty Ducks: Childhood favorite as Emilio takes his team to the international level to battle Iceland, not Canada or Russia. That simple fact makes it great, plus the scene where they get involved in the ‘street hockey game’ in L.A.

Best Quote: “Weuw, Weuw, Weuw, Kenny Woo.”

Major League II:  This one came up way short of the original. How did the first one go from R rated classic to a PG rated clown for some rude language.

Best Quote (loosely again): “Women: you can’t live with them, and they can’t pee standing up!”

The Next Karate Kid: This movie was made, and everyone was disappointed.

A line from the movie: “Julie-san, fighting not good. But if must fight… win!”

Enough said, 1994 had to be the best year in Sports movies, if you disagree post your list and we can go from there.

Salute

The Bearded Guy