Monday, May 10, 2010

Ten Things JJ Thinks He Thinks

1. Georgia Thoughts

This week I will give my first guess at the Times and Networks for the 2010 UGA Football Season. I enjoy playing Network executive in putting together the times and networks. A lot of late nights in Athens if everything holds to form. Not sure if I am a big fan or not. The October 2nd game at Colorado might be moved to FSN. If it a FSN game I hope it will start a little earlier.

Sep. 4Louisiana-Laf.  1:00 SEC Network
Sep. 11at S. Carolina    7:00 ESPNU
Sep. 18Arkansas          7:45 ESPN
Sep. 25at Miss. State   7:00 ESPN U
Oct. 2at Colorado       9:30 ESPN2
Oct. 9Tennessee        7:00 ESPN2
Oct. 16Vanderbilt        12:30 SEC Network
Oct. 23at Kentucky      7:00 ESPNU
Oct. 30at Florida           3:30 CBS

Nov. 6Idaho St.           1:00 PPV
Nov. 13 at Auburn          3:30 CBS
Nov. 27 Georgia Tech   3:30 CBS

2. My NBA and NHL Playoff Thoughts

a. I have not watched a full game of the NBA playoffs but I usually catch the first few minutes of the first quarter and then the whole fourth quarter.
b. I did watch a majority of the Suns-Spurs game on Friday night and I was impressed how the Suns finished the game. Led by backup point guard Goran Dragic who scored 23 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, rendering Steve Nash unneeded until the final 3 minutes. Amare Stoudemire? He never even took off his warmups in the fourth quarter.
c. Should I admit that I did not know the name Goran Dragic until Friday night?
d. The Hawks are in a world of trouble and I do not like how it looks like they have already given up. I would like to think that is not the case but one has to wonder. In this case the saying is true, perception is reality.
e. Speaking of the Hawks-Magic...the Magic are on a 16-1 run since the Josh Smith dunk at the buzzer on March 24. Only loss in that span came when Ginobili hit 'em for 43. That seems like forever ago.
f. This is first time since 1999 and just fourth time ever that three of NBA's four second-round series started off 3-0
g. Rajon Rondo was unbelievable Sunday afternoon for the C's as they tied the series up with the Cavs. If he can keep coming up with lines like this 29 points 18 boards and 13 assists the C's might be able to steal this series.
h. The Suns have been the funnest team to watch during these playoffs and how did Steve Nash see Sunday Night with his right eye swollen shut?
i. Everyone has to ask themselves...Is your game MVP like Steve Nash?
j. The battle for Lord Stanley's cup is heating up and Monday night is a big night for the Eastern Conference. The Penguins and Canadiens play Game 6 with the Penguins holding a 3-2 series lead. The Bruins and Flyers meet in Game 5 with the Bruins holding a 3-1 series lead.
k. If the Penguins and Bruins win the Eastern Conference finals will be a matchup of the #4 and #6 seeds. Who had this matchup a month ago?
l. Furthermore how are the Penguins a game away from winning the series without Sid The Kid scoring in this series?
m. The Western Conference is playing truer to form with the #1 seed San Jose Sharks advancing and the #2 seed Blackhawks holding a 3-2 series lead.

3. I Need A Vacation-This Summer

Let me know if any of these ideas interest anyone? I need a vacation and something to work for.  Personally I like Trip 1 and 4 the best. Let me know your thoughts you might think they all suck and that is fine. Trip 3 would be fun but I do not know if I have the cabboge (cash) to pull it off.

Trip 1
Wedneday June 2nd
Braves vs Phillies 1:05
Delta Flight 2686 ATL-NYC 6:40 PM (Right now $129.70)
Airtran Flight 364 ATL-NYC 7:07 (Right now $109.70)
Hit up Brother Jimmy's - The only place you can find Natty Lights in NYC
Crash at my Buddy Todd's house (Free)

Thursday June 3rd
Orioles @ Yankees 1:05
Bus To Atlantic City ($10)
Room at The Harrah's AC (Free)
By the way Harrah's AC has this awesome pool ( Make sure you click on the pool during the day and at night.

-Train to Philly ($8 via NJ Transit)
-Get to DC somehow ($45 train, $7 bus) If we do bus we have to be on the 115 pm..its going to be hard to get from AC to Philly in this time
-Check in Hotel ($120 night)
-Hookup with a congressional staffer

Get to Baltimore via Bus or train
Boston Red Sox @ Baltimore Orioles

Cincinnati Reds @ Washington Nationals
Fly home Sun Night

Trip 2
Wedneday June 2nd
Braves vs Phillies 1:05
Delta Flight 2686 ATL-NYC 6:40 PM (Right now $129.70)
Airtran Flight 364 ATL-NYC 7:07 (Right now $109.70)
Hit up Brother Jimmy's - The only place you can find Natty Lights in NYC
Crash at my Buddy Todd's house (Free)

Thursday June 3rd
Orioles @ Yankees 1:05
Fly to Boston
Train to Boston
Acela 2172 Leaves NY Penn Station 7:00 Arrive Boston-South Station 10:41 $95
Amtrak 178 Leaves Penn Station 7:30 Arrives Boston South Station 12:12 $49
(We could do Bus for a little cheaper but it would take longer and you can not booze on the bus, you can booze on plane or train)
Hotel Beantown - 3 Star Quincy Market $115

Friday June 4th
Rent Car and go to Cape ($100 total)
Check In Hotel/Motel ($150-$200 a night)
Chatham Squire

Saturday June 5th
Beach-Chatham Squire

Sunday June 6th
Return rental
Fly Home from Beantown
Airtran Flt 269 740 pm ($124.40)

Trip 3

Wednesday June 2nd

Wednesdy night Fly to Las Vegas ($385 round trip w/ a stop) ($414 nonstop)

Spend 2 night (Wed and Thur) as of right now the lodging would be free as long as we stayed at either Bally's, Flamingo, or Imperial Palace.

Friday rent a car and drive to LA
Friday nite Dodgers-Braves
Fiday nite after Braves win party like Vinny Chase

Saturday whatever

Sunday drive to Vegas and fly home via the Red Eye

Rental Car $100 total
Hotel for two nights in Cali $150 a night

Trip 4

July 7th Fly to Philly ($89.70 on Airtran)
Rent a Car-Intermediate SUV ($170.00 for the week)
Braves @ Phillies
Drive to AC (50 minute drive from Citizens Bank Ballpark)
Free Room at either Harrah's, Caesars, Bally's or Showboat

Thursday July 8th
Wake up and drive to Cooperstown, NY (5 hour drive)
Tour the hall of fame (Open 9 am to 9pm during the summers)
Cheap Hotel in either Albany, NY or Cobleskill or Schenectady

Friday July 9th
Drive to Chatham, Ma
Friday and Saturday on the Cape
Friday's Games (Brewster at Orleans, Harwich at Chatham)
Saturday's Games (Bourne at Chatham, Falmouth at Orleans)
Two Nights on Cape around $180-$200 a night
I need some Chatham Squire in my life

Sunday July 11th
Drive back to Philly either stopping in NYC or Philly or AC for the night
-Pepe's in New Haven, Ct for lunch.(Clam Pie)

Monday July 12th
Return Rental
Fly Home ($114.70)

4. I Need A Vacation-This Fall

After planning some possible interesting baseball trips this summer I have thought of a couple of intriguing football trips. The first trip is the weekend of Labor Day. One would begin their weekend in Athens, Ga for what one will only hope is an early kickoff on September 4th. On the evening of the 4th LSU-North Carolina will play in the Georgia Dome in Chick-fil-a Kickoff Classic.  On the 5th one would take an early flight to Baltimore to watch the Rays-O's. On Labor Day the 6th Maryland plays Navy in Baltimore at 3:00 and then 25 miles down the road at 8:00 Boise State will play Virginia Tech. The second weekend of the football season has us returning to our Nation's Capital. On the 11th Georgia Southern will take on the Midshipman from Navy. The next day give us the start of the NFL season and the Dallas Cowboys visiting the Washington Redskins at 8:20 on a Sunday Night. Monday morning would give us a short trip to the Meadowlands and a Monday nighter between the Ravens and Jets.

The next travel weekend is Friday September 24th with a jaunt to the Mile High City and a baseball game with the Rockies and Giants. On the 25th the Air Force Academy takes on the Wyoming Cowboys. Just as an FYI it is about 140 miles from Denver to Laramie, Wyoming. The game would be at noon local time, a perfect day trip. On Sunday the 26th the Colts would play the Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High. The Braves are off this weekend and the Dawgs play at Mississippi State so I might have to make this trip happen.

Another football weekend is the first weekend in October. Unfortunately the big three (Miami, Florida State, and Florida) are all on the road on Saturday the 2nd. However, on NFL Sunday the Colts visit the Jags and on Monday and about 332 miles down I-95 the Pats will visit the Dolphins.

One other trip is the weekend of Friday September 17th through Monday September 20th and one will visit the Bay Area. On Friday the 17th the trip will begin with the Brewers at Giants. On the 18th Wake Forest visits the Stanford Cardinal. The Sunday NFL game on the 19th will have the Rams visiting the Blackhole of Oakland. Then on Monday the 20th the defending Super Bowl champions will take on the 49ers on Monday Night Football.

The rest of October and November will be posted next week.

5. Baseball Thoughts
a. I was watching some of the Mets-Giants game Friday Night at the house and the great Gary Cohen said that no Met had hit three home runs at Shea Stadium or Citi Field. How can this be accurate?
b. Thru games of May 5, the Yankees have scored in 37.1% of innings the highest in MLB, while the Astros have scored in 19.2%, the lowest.
c. Here is another 3 home run in a game stat that relates to a New York team. On Saturday, Mark Teixeira became the second Yankees player all-time to hit 3+ HR vs. the Red Sox in a single game (Lou Gehrig - 6/23/1927).As many times as these teams have played each other, I am shocked this has only happened twice.
d. With a win on Saturday over the Marlins, the Nationals are now 10-5 in games decided by 2 runs or less. In 2009, the Nats were 33-46 in such games.
e. Barry Zito needs some credit for the turnaround he has had over the last year and a half. Zito was 31-43 in his first three seasons with San Francisco and even started 0-8 in 2008, when he was sent to the bullpen for a while. This season he is 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA.
f. How similar have the careers of Ozzie Guillen and Terry Francona been? Francona managed his 1,000th game for Boston Wednesday, a day after Guillen managed his 1,000th for Chicago. Francona’s record was 579-421, while Guillen was 523-477. Francona won two pennants and two World Series, Guillen one pennant and one World Series. Francona was the 22d player taken in the 1980 draft. Guillen was signed as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela in the summer of 1980.
g. They both have ties to the Atlanta Braves as Ozzie played for the Braves during the 1998 and 1999 seasons. Francona's dad played for the Braves for parts of three seasons in 1967, 1968, and 1969.
h. On Sunday Dallas Braden threw the 19th perfect game in MLB history against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Tampa Bay Rays have now been on the receiving ends of back to back perfect games.
i. How special was Braden's perfect game? Factoring in inflation, the average salary of the last 6 perfect game pitchers before today was $9.43 million. Braden 2010 salary? $420,000. The $420,000 is less than the gamer in Alabama will receive when he threw a perfect game playing XBOX and received $1 million.
j. Braden since start of 2009: 29 GS, 21 quality starts, 17 games 2 ER or fewer, 24 of 3 ER or fewer. 2.41 BB/9, 3.74 ERA, 1.26 WHIP.
k. Through Thursday, in Manny Acta’s last 162 games managing the Nationals and the Indians, his record was 53-109 (.327)
l. More than half of the Brewers runs this season (87) have come in just 6 games-those 6 games of runs are more than the Astros have all season.
m. Cubs rookie Starlin Castro got off to an impressive start in his first game homerung in his first AB, the first Cub player to do so since Jim Bullinger in 1992. Castro's first 4 career hits came in this order: HR, triple, double, single.
n. Adrian Beltre is now batting .533 (8 for 15) on 0 and 2 counts. Beltre entered the game leading the AL in 2-strike hitting with a .347 average, and third in MLB behind Ryan Hanigan of Reds and one Manny Ramirez.
o. More Perfect Game talk...Dallas Braden pitched the third Perfect Game on Mother's Day. The other two Charlie Lea for Montreal in 1981 against the Giants and Hod Eller for the Reds in 1919 against the Cardinals.
p. Even more special for Braden throwing the perfect game on Mother's Day is that his mom died of skin cancer hen Braden was a senior in high school. The embrace he shared with his grandmother was pretty cool.
q. Jerry Crasnick with a good read on the character that is Dallas Braden.
r. Joe Posnanski has an even better read on Braden and the perfect game. He tells this awesome story, there has now been 19 Perfect Games pitched in MLB history and for some reason these always include two thrown in 1880 (five days apart, no less) when it took eight balls to walk somebody, the mound was 50 feet from home plate and pitchers were still supposed to throw underhand.
s. It has been said before and will be said again, no sport cherishes its past like Baseball.
t. One more decent Sunday read is on an Employee who has worked 48 years for the New York Yankees.

This weeks song that Smoak and myself used to rock out to includes Tracy Chapman's Give Me One Reason. Last week trivia Question was answered correctly by Donald Sheppard and Brice Scott. They both knew that the Pittsburgh Pirates never changed their name from 1901-2000. The Pittsburgh franchise became the Pirates in 1891 after being named the Alleghenys. The Cubs franchise was in the National League in 1901 with the name of the Chicago Orphans. "Cubs" did not come to be until 1903. The Philadelphia team was the Quakers until the 1890 season saw them holding the Phillies name, but in 1943, they changed to the Blue Jays, then went back to the Phillies in 1945. Cincinnati was the Reds for the entire 20th century, except for six seasons when they changed to the Redlegs from 1954-1959. This weeks trivia question is important because we have a prize involved. The prize is an Iron Man 2 T-Shirt. Not everyone answer at one time. On Thursday Scott Olsen had a no hitter into the 8th before David Ross broke it up. Thus who was the last member of the Nationals franchise to pitch a No-Hitter? First person to email me or add the correct response in the comments wins the t-shirt.

6. MLB Power 5
1. New York Yankees - Won a second series at Fenway this season despite a lot of injuries and many players not playing to their abilities this season.
2. Tampa Bay Rays - They would have been #1 but having a perfect game pitched against them dropped them a slot.
3. St.Louis Cardinals - Clearly the class of the NL Central. Can anyone catch them?
4. Minnesota Twins - They keep winning series and are off to the best start since 2001.
5. San Diego Padres - They are still leading the West and have won 7 of 10 despite letting a late lead Sunday slip away.

7. Sports Emmy's

A couple of weeks ago the Sports Emmy's were held in NYC and HBO absolutely cleaned up. The won 9 emmy's more than double any other network. CBS, NBC, and MLB Network tied for second with 4 Emmy's a piece. ESPN and ESPN2 had three apiece. CBS had two while CBS Mobile,, Fox, Fox Sports Net, NBC, Fox and Speed each won one award.

A couple of the main winners were:
Outstanding Studio Show Weekly-College GameDay
Outstanding Studio Show Daily-PTI
Outstanding Sports Personality Studio Show-Bob Costas
Outstanding Sports Personality-Play By Play-Jim Nantz
Outstanding Sports Personality-Studio Analyst-Kirk Herbstreit
Outstanding Sports Personality-Sports Event Analyst-Chris Colinsworth

My thoughts:
-Baseball Tonight is a better studio show than PTI.
-I can not argue against Costas who is absolutely amazing. Ernie Johnson Jr. for Turner Sports is not bad either.
-Nantz is better than Joe Buck in my opinion, I have my doubts when compared to Al Michaels
-The Best Sports Analyst in Studio to me is either Tony Dungy or Tom Jackson. Seth Davis during the NCAA tournament was pretty good as well.
-Colinsworth is without a doubt the best analyst in football or sports. He is already one of the best, just think if he was not a Gator.
-I know these were not awards but my favorite writers in the following sports include:
MLB-Jon Heyman CNNSI
NFL-Peter King CNNSI
NBA-Adrian Wojnarowski Yahoo Sports
NCAA Football-Tony Barnhart-AJC

All the results are listed here. 

What are your thoughts?

8. Ernie Harwell

This week we received the sad news on the passing of the former Tiger announcer. There were many great articles written on Harwell from papers throughout the country. On a national level the New York Times and CNNSI's Joe Posnanski wrote these awesome words on the life of Harwell. Posnanski writes how Harwell would often email him and sometimes the emails were as simple as I love triples in the gap. I love this fact about Harwell that e lived 92 years and announced for 50 of those but he never grew tired of the simple play of a triple in the gap. I find this funny because triple in the gap is one of my favorite plays along with a push or drag bunt for a single and a well executed relay to throw someone out at the plate.

Other Harwell tributes include this tribute from Harwell's hometown Detroit Free Press by acclaimed writer Mitch Albom. Other tributes include this eight minute highlight from MLB Network. Did anyone know that Harwell was once traded from the Atlanta Crackers to the Brooklyn Dodgers for a backup catcher? The last link will be Harwell's Hall of Fame induction speech from August 2nd 1981. By the way this was a month before I was born.

9. What I Read This Week

Two articles this week on Joe D and Teddy Ballgame, but before we move forward I want to relink the main article from last week on the Twenty-somethings that work in the Obama administration. Go Read It.

The first article takes a look at the Great Joe DiMaggio. Written in 1966 by acclaimed writer Gay Talese this piece on DiMaggio was written months after his classic piece on Frank Sinatra (see next week's What I Read This Week). Both stories paint fascinating portraits of their iconic subjects, and they are written in a clean, economical style. Talese is often credited through the DiMaggio and Sinatra articles as an pioneering example of New Journalism. I will let you do your own research on New Journalism if you are so inclined. However, at the very least enjoy a very intriguing look at a fascinating person.

The second read comes from Richard Ben Cramer who in 1986 spent months on a profile of Ted Williams, and the result was this Esquire article that has been acclaimed ever since as one of the finest pieces of sports reporting ever written. I have always been intrigued about Williams the person and Williams the baseball player. Never the most likeable person according to the Boston scribes he did spend two duties fighting for his country. Without the time missed in the prime of his career who knows how many home runs he might have hit.

Just as a heads up both are long reads but well worth the time. We all need something to occupy us on the treadmill.

10. Non Football, Baseball or Basketball Thoughts
a. I was very intrigued by The Amazing Race on Sunday night but was disappointed that the Cowboys did not win. However, they were probably the most liked team in the history of the race and if CBS ever does an All-Star Amazing Race Cast they will no doubt be a part of the field.
b. If I have to hear Dan say he made his brothers dream come true one more time I might throw up.
c. I was also disappointed by the reaction from team sour grapes Brandy and Carol as they were clearly not over being U-Turned about 4 episodes ago. They made the end very awkward, they have a lot of hate built up towards Caite...she is not the sharpest pencil in the box but come on get over it.
d. It looks like President Obama will nominate Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court. If the Senate confirms Ms. Kagan, who is Jewish, the Supreme Court for the first time will have no Protestant members. In that case, the court would be composed of six justices who are Catholic and three who are Jewish. It also would mean that every member of the court had studied law at Harvard or Yale (see E for more explanation). 
e. It has to be noted that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg enrolled at Harvard Law School where she was one of only nine women in a class of more than five hundred. However, when her husband took a job in New York City, she transferred to Columbia Law School and became the first woman to be on both the Harvard Law Review and the Columbia Law Review. This fact was of great discussion between lawyer Dan and myself late Sunday night/Monday morning.
f. The roomdawg and myself are still a couple of Modern Family's behind but we watched three over the weekend and they were tremendous. By far the funniest show on television. Every character is so developed and hilarious. I have yet to find someone who does not like the show.
g. I did go see Iron Man 2 this week and thought it was tremendous. I am not a comic book guy at all I just happen to love Super Hero movies. This is referenced by the fact I get caught watching one of the Spider Man movies every time it is on TNT.
h. Of course Iron Man 2 won the weekend at the box office and the opening was good for 5th best all time. It was also the third-biggest superhero-movie debut of all time, behind leader The Dark Knight, which opened to $158 million in 2008, and runner-up Spider-Man 3, which bowed to $151 million in 2007,
i. Just as an fyi Scarlett Johansson who plays the Black Widow might be worth the price of admission alone. A lot of critics did not like her performance and they need to be slapped.
j.This is probably the craziest story I have ever read. This is why we have trials with juries with good lawyers. We can all learn a lesson from this story, if ever accused of a murder you did not commit...ask to see the dead body.

k.How I Met Your Mother took a nice twist last week with Robin choosing Don over Ted or Barney. I was impressed with Ted's breakup letter that you write your future self when you just break up with someone. There are a lot of life lessons to be learned in HIMYM.

Quote of The Week

From Phil Mickelson...I have never done an In-N-Out burger but it is definitely on my list of things to do. I do know 5 Guys is amazing.

"I grew up on In-N-Out. I thought that was best burger until I had 5 Guys."

Tweet of The Week

From iHateJJRedick
Jamarcus Russell should get a show on @FoodNetwork where he goes to buffets and puts them out of business.

Text of The Week

From Todd Easton aka Babagaloosh in response to me inquiring about staying at his place this summer.

Plenty of rooms for any number of southern boys at hotel babagaloosh

Photo Of The Week I
The manager has the look away down. Even better when you look-away when taking pictures with US Senators.

Photo of The WeekII
Comes from reader Brice after he landed in Belize for his honeymoon. You stay classy Belize.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats to the greatest kicker in Screven County football history in Donald Sheppard for winning this weeks trivia contest. Everyone here at CaptainandCoach is proud of him.