Tag Archives: Mike Piazza

2016 MLB HOF Thoughts

[In what is an annual tradition, the BBWAA once again screwed up their most important duty: faithfully electing qualified MLB players to the game’s ultimate shrine – Cooperstown. This year’s balloting went along better than most years, as only 3 writers chose to get *cute* by leaving Ken Griffey, Jr. off of their ballots. I will not give any credence to those writers, nor will I entertain any arguments as to why they might have done it.

It was idiotic, moronic, and selfish for those three to deny Griffey a unanimous vote as the BBWAA has done to every player who has so far been enshrined1There are arguments made by others that voters simply aren’t allowed enough votes [they’re allotted 10 per election.] Others will excuse writers by saying ‘Well, if Babe Ruth wasn’t good enough to earn 100%, and he’s the Greatest player ever, then no one should earn 100%. Of course, that’s an idiotic argument on multiple fronts.

First, when the Babe was elected, it was against every single player who had ever stepped on the field up to that point, including active players, that were eligible. Secondly, just because writers of previous generations were morons does not excuse writers of ensuing generations. Should the Babe have been elected unanimously? Of course. Is the fact that he was not more excusable than Griffey, Jr. not being? Of course. There were at best 8 players who should have been considered for a HOF vote this year. It’s simply not an excuse.
. Continue reading 2016 MLB HOF Thoughts

References
1 There are arguments made by others that voters simply aren’t allowed enough votes [they’re allotted 10 per election.] Others will excuse writers by saying ‘Well, if Babe Ruth wasn’t good enough to earn 100%, and he’s the Greatest player ever, then no one should earn 100%. Of course, that’s an idiotic argument on multiple fronts.

First, when the Babe was elected, it was against every single player who had ever stepped on the field up to that point, including active players, that were eligible. Secondly, just because writers of previous generations were morons does not excuse writers of ensuing generations. Should the Babe have been elected unanimously? Of course. Is the fact that he was not more excusable than Griffey, Jr. not being? Of course. There were at best 8 players who should have been considered for a HOF vote this year. It’s simply not an excuse.

Top Ten Tuesday (With A Teaser Or Two)

I was recently asked, by our Executive Editor here at Campus Pressbox, Damien Bowman, to select ten people for the Baseball Hall of Fame off the 2016 ballot. I did. And here they are:

Mike Piazza
Jeff Bagwell
Tim Raines
Larry Walker
Ken Griffey, Jr.
Nomar Garciaparra
Jeff Kent
Fred McGriff
Edgar Martinez
Alan Trammel

I attempted not to choose any known “juicers”. No Bonds, McGwire, etc. I don’t know if I succeeded in this, but I did my best, IMHO. That is another discussion for another day, and I’m sure we’ll take it up on a podcast in the not-too-distant-future.

I attempt to be a purist. No DH, Astro Turf, et al. That’s probably, at least, a little disingenuous, but one has to try.

Our SEC 411 podcast, which we are about to record, is not going to contain much discussion on football, the SEC, or sports in general. I can’t wait to see where it goes.

Stay tuned!

The ten Hall of Famers prompted me to come up with a column which contains no SEC football or sports, except for the above mentioned HOF nominees.

We’re going to go with a “Top Ten Tuesday” (I know this posts on Wednesday but I wrote it on Tuesday. So there!) which will be lists of my top ten in areas that are, pretty much, pop culture. And this is not scientific, in any particular order, or what I consider to be, technically the best. It’s just my favorites… today.

So here we go!

Top Ten Movies

The Godfather

The Godfather Part Two

Pulp Fiction

Blazing Saddles

Inglorious Basterds (yes, I do LOVE Quentin Tarantino)

Apocalypse Now (and Francis Ford Coppolla, evidently)

Vertigo

The Graduate

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

The Big Lebowski

Top Ten Country Songs

The Grand Tour – George Jones

I Don’t Wanna Play House – Tammy Wynette

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Hank Williams

The Pilgrim Chapter 33 – Kris Kristofferson

Whiskey River – Willie Nelson

Merry Christmas From The Family – Robert Earl Keen

Yard Sale – Sammy Kershaw

Sea Of Heartbreak – Don Gibson

Since You’ve Gone – Ferlin Husky

(Tie) Holding Things Together – Merle Haggard &
He’s Got You – Patsy Cline

Top Ten Rock/Pop Songs

Powderfinger – Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Revolution – The Beatles

Babelogue>Rock N Roll Nigger – Patti Smith

Red Red Wine – Neil Diamond

Goin’ Out West – Gov’t Mule (originally done by Tom Waits)

See Me, Feel Me – The Who

White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane

Crimson And Clover – Tommy James and the Shondells or Joan Jett, take your pick.

Green River – CCR

I Love You Period – Dan Baird

 

Top Ten TV Shows (Network TV including PBS. And I haven’t watched many network shows in a long time. PBS, yes.)

The Andy Griffith Show

Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Downton Abbey

Frasier

Saturday Night Live

Dallas

NYPD Blue

Seinfeld

Northern Exposure

M*A*S*H

Top Ten Cable TV Shows

Mad Men

Breaking Bad

Friday Night Lights

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

The Colbert Report

The Walking Dead

Damages

Better Call Saul

The Killing

Vikings

Top Ten Premium Cable TV Shows

Deadwood

The Sopranos

The Wire

Homeland

Game of Thrones

Masters of Sex

Californication

Ray Donovan

Nurse Jackie

The Larry Sanders Show

Top Ten Rock/Pop Albums

Live At The Fillmore East – The Allman Brothers Band

Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs – Derek & The Dominos

Are You Experienced? – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Europe ’72 – The Grateful Dead

Aqualung – Jethro Tull

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere – Neil Young

Chicago Transit Authority – Chicago

Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin

Revolver – The Beatles

Woodstock – Various Artists

Top Ten Jazz Albums

Kind of Blue – Miles Davis

Bitches Brew – Miles Davis

A Love Supreme – John Coltrane

Giant Steps – John Coltrane

Bill Evans – Conversations With Myself

Duke Ellington – Money Jungle

Sonny Rollins – The Bridge

Charlie Parker – Yardbird Suite: The Ultimate Charlie Parker

Thelonious Himself – Thelonious Monk

The Best Of –  Django Reinhardt

Ok ok! This is typically an Auburn column, so I won’t leave you without Tiger news, or info, altogether.

Top Ten Auburn Games (I have attended)

Alabama 1989 – Tide’s first game ever played on The Plains. 30-20

Alabama 2013 – Kick Six. 34-28

Alabama 1972 – Punt Bama Punt. 17-16

Alabama 1982 – Bo Over The Top. 23-22

Florida 1993 – Number one ranked Gators go down in Jordan-Hare. 38-35

Oregon 2011 – 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 BCS National Championship Game. We’re number one! 22-19

Texas A&M 2013 – Dee Ford sacks Johnny Football on the final play of the game and we begin to feel it. The march to Pasadena! 45-41

Georgia 2013 – The Miracle at Jordan-Hare, 43-38

LSU 1997 – Dameyune Craig leads a last minute comeback in Death Valley. Just me and Luke made this trip to the Red Stick. Magical night. 31-27

Michigan 1984 – Sugar Bowl. Al Del Greco splits the uprights with a last second field goal. Auburn wins the National Championship according to the New York Times. They won it on the field as well. You will never convince me otherwise. 9-7

Hey claim ’em! It’s been done before! 😉

So there you have it! A Top Ten Tuesday! This should prompt the opportunity for some great discussion, so fire away!

I will probably do some more of this type of thing during bowl season and the off-season.

Also, many of us here at Campus Pressbox will be bringing you bowl previews. My first one will take a look at the Cure Bowl, which is to be played Saturday, 12/19, in Orlando’s Citrus Bowl. San Jose State vs. Georgia State. The Spartans and the Panthers!

And, naturally, I will preview the Birmingham Bowl.

Merry Happy!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Than A Friday: We Remember New York, and We Still Live in Fear

It was fourteen years ago today, when we learned that we are never safe, not in this world. Yes, I remember where I was when I learned of what happened. Yes, it was terrible in every way. And yes, it changed a lot of things for a lot of people, but most of all, the events of that morning instilled a level of fear in all of us, about things that perhaps we were previously too blissfully ignorant about.

We fast forward to this week, where we have a new, legitimate fear in our own backyard in Arizona this very week. Maybe back then, on the day of, we didn’t understand the motive, why those planes hit those buildings, but maybe those answers came with time, even though those answers were never what we deemed acceptable. Right now, we don’t know why we fear the very highways we travel every day, other than the fact that we don’t care to be hit by random gunfire. I find myself assuming a level of vigilance, keeping my head on a swivel, eye-balling rooftops and roadside mountains for snipers. I hear that, while the highway shootings are of a serial nature in Arizona, this is happening in Chicago now as well. What the hell is happening? I don’t want to be next, but I really don’t want there to be a next at all.

I guess it’s important to remember how fear brings us together, and makes us collectively brave. We remember those who ran toward the trouble, when so many were running away. Those rescue workers died, so that so many could live. At this point, I’d like to take a deep breath, and let the honorable stand on their own plane.

Alright, new thought. This is a sports site, so I want to mention how Mike Piazza’s home run and President Bush’s first pitch at the World Series helped begin the healing process in New York and across the country. The Mets wore caps honoring the police and firefighters, who we will forever remember as heroes, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t talking about baseball and level of heroism that is above reproach in the same breath. Speaking of which, let’s breathe one more time.

Here are ten thoughts from the week that was:

  • Former tennis star James Blake had a rough run-in with the New York Police Department the other night, and I suppose that’s putting it mildly. The former #4 tennis player in the world was tackled and cuffed on Thursday in a sting operation gone awry. Blake, who bore a reasonable likeness to a suspect, according to police, said he told police he wished to comply and that he was very scared throughout the entire ordeal. On a day that we’re honoring your fallen brothers, this is not okay, NYPD.
    https://twitter.com/RyanRuggiero/status/642425084070756352/video/1
  • Amid some heavy investigative reporting on the part of ESPN’s Outside the Lines and a similar multi-author report by Sports Illustrated, the New England Patriots had their Super Bowl homecoming game on Thursday evening in Foxboro. They took the field, not as champions, but certifiable cheaters in the eyes of many. Accusations of sabotage and things of that ilk weren’t easily dismissed, especially when the visiting Steelers headsets malfunctioned in the first half of Pittsburgh’s 28-21 loss to the Patriots. Mike Tomlin wasn’t happy, and I’m no Steelers apologist, but his anger was justified. Apparently, he doesn’t get a leg to stand on, because he stood on the field of play during a kick return, a few years back. Get the hell out of here with that noise.
  • Back to New York, where the Yankees strangle-hold on the top American League Wild Card spot and realistic chances in the division are being largely ignored, the Mets have become my favorite “I have no dog in the fight” team to watch on MLB.tv. On Labor Day, I tuned in for parts of their most important game of the season, versus the Nationals in DC. Yoenis Cespedes did what he’s done since arriving in Queens, and that’s to provide a spark for the previously hapless offense that Terry Collins has marched out there. The other takeaway from the Mets’ 8-5 victory, was more about the man than the ballplayer that Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is. He hit a grand slam in the game, shifting momentum before Cespedes took it back, but this is a guy that survived an abduction in Venezuela back in 2011. That kind of thing always stays with me, and I take great joy in any success that he has.
  • Ohio State wore the #1 ranking, given to them by the Associated Press and the Coaches, very well on Monday, at Virginia Tech. The result of the game, a 42-24 rout of the Hokies, came secondary to the story we’ve wondered about, on and off, for the last eight months. How would Urban Meyer deal with “too many cooks in the kitchen” at the quarterback position. Many figured Braxton Miller would transfer, and that the odd man out would be visibly unhappy. JT Barrett was named a captain early in the week, and seemed anything but disgruntled about being the backup to Cardale Jones. As for Miller, he didn’t transfer, but he stepped aside, switching positions, and it looks like he might be one of the best receivers in the country. Well played, Urb.
  • Talk about a state of misery! Both of the Missouri ballclubs look like they’re slowing down at exactly the wrong time. Kansas City has the luxury of an 11-game lead in the American League Central Division, despite being losers of seven of their last ten. Up in St. Louis, the Cardinals have taken themselves out of the best ever conversation, and they’ve just looked flat-out bad at times, recently. They’ve dropped two of three to both of their relevant adversaries in the National League Central Division since last weekend, and they aren’t off to a good start in Cincinnati either. The fact that Pittsburgh has a fighting chance at that division spells doom for the Cardinals, who lost 11-0 in the ‘Nati on Thursday.
  • The Pirates defeated the Reds on Wednesday at Great American Ballpark, in a game the Reds finished without Joey Votto. The Canadian slugger got jobbed all game by plate umpire Bill Welke’s strike zone, and he let him have it after a called strike 2 in the eighth inning. I recall how angry you can get about things like that, so I understand, but I’ve never been labeled a star of the stature that Votto is, so I’m surprised. Major League Baseball was nice enough to spare him on his 32nd birthday Thursday, but stay tuned on Friday. They may be giving him a belated gift of a day off, probably without pay.
  • Did I miss something about Tennessee football? I see that they’re now ranked #23, and people seem to believe their game with visiting Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon at Neyland is a big game. Not buying on the Vols after what I saw of their opener against Bowling Green, but we’ll see. Of course, I didn’t shell out the $99.99 to pay-per-view Bob Stoops’ Sooners clobber Akron last week, so who knows.  I also see we’ve got Mississippi State ranked, just in time to host LSU this weekend. What the pollsters won’t do for the SEC!
  • On the other hand, Oregon and Michigan State should come as advertised. Forget that the Ducks gave up 42 to Eastern Washington or that the Spartans looked less than spectacular at Western Michigan last Friday; look for a close, low-scoring game. That doesn’t bode well for Mark Helfrich and Oregon in East Lansing on Saturday night.
  • I know most people live in the “what have you done for me lately?” realm, but I’m still a sucker for the nostalgia of a Packers-Bears game. No dog in the fight, but these two organizations have played about as even as two teams can play over the entire course of history, though Sunday won’t be even in any way, shape, or form.
  • If you don’t give a damn about a rivalry that happens to be lopsided in 2015, you probably care less about my opinion on the night Rob Gronkowski gave my Little White Beanbags fantasy team, my first go-around with fake football in about 8 or 9 years. I can’t begin to imagine the level of apathy non-hockey fans would have over an Oilers-Coyotes game in November, but I’m still excited to go to Glendale on November 12th, but if hockey people are comparing Edmonton rookie Connor McDavid to LeBron James, that’s some hockey I don’t want to miss.

And no one ever gets excited about going to Glendale, even before we were scared of being hit by rounds of seemingly random gunfire. Stay safe, everyone.