Monday Morning Fodder

Busy weekend in sports as we head towards Turkey Day and the final regular season weekend of college football.

North Carolina beat Old Dominion 80-20. Both head coaches agreed to shorten the fourth quarter to 10 minutes, a modern mercy rule. Some were calling Fedora classless, dont know why, they had scout team players in and took a knee on a fourth and goal. Cant just stop playing. ( btw, Florida State and South Carolina also won by 60 or more points)

Duke beat Wake Forest 28-21.  This sets up a big game vs North Carolina this weekend, they win and they will be in the ACC Championship Game vs Florida State.

Will Jameis Winston be able to play in the Championship Game, and a possible National Championship? We wont find out until after Thanksgiving.

East Carolina beat NC State in Raleigh 42-28.  State fans had to endure the “Our State” chants again, and a billboard on Capital Blvd.  Some statefans have called for that campaign to be retired.

Duke basketball escapes with a 91-90 win over Vermont. Coach K said they were “lucky to win”. 

UNC basketball bounces back with two wins over the weekend, including a 93-84 win over defending champs and #3 ranked Louisville. Marcus Paige had a career high 32 points.

Carolina Panthers won their 7th game in a row, Manning cant beat Brady, Brian McCann to the Yankees, five years, $85 million.

Ice Up, Son!

Bobby Valentine Dons The Hat of Ass

bobbyv

Yesterday was a somber day for us all.  It was a day of reflection and remembrance.  If anyone else caught 108 Minutes that Changed America on the History Channel last night (or any other time they have aired the 2008 documentary), then you certainly have some new perspective on the tragedy of September 11th, 2001.

Some people will always try to use things to make themselves look good.  Right, Bobby Valentine?  This waste of skin went on WFAN in New York yesterday and showed how big of a hypocrite he is, and also confirmed his status as wearer of the hat made of ass.

Let it be said that during the time from 9/11 to 9/21, the Yankees were [AWOL],” Valentine said on WFAN. “You couldn’t find a Yankee on the streets of New York City. You couldn’t find a Yankee down at Ground Zero, talking to the guys who were working 24/7.

He added: “Many of them didn’t live here, and so it wasn’t their fault. And many of them did not partake in all that, so there was some of that jealousy going around [among Mets players]. Like, ‘Why are we so tired? Why are we wasted? Why have we been to the funerals and the firehouses, and the Yankees are getting all the credit for bringing baseball back?’ And I said, ‘This isn’t about credit, guys. This is about doing the right thing.’

I like that last part about this not being about credit, which is precisely what he is grasping for himself.  Anyone really believe the Yankees were “AWOL” after the attacks on the WTC?  Anyone really believe that Joe Torre would allow that?  Yeah, I do not either.

Linkage coming later this morning if I can swing it.

After Labor Day fodder: ACC Roundup, NFL starts tomorrow

Hope everyone enjoyed the Labor Day holiday. I didn’t make it to Dragon-Con but I did see some Wolfpack fans at Saturday’s Braves game and plenty of Tennessee fans. ..

Chick-Fil-A Kick Off Classic Games

Tennessee 35, NC State 21.  Game fell apart for NC State in about two minutes in the first quarter: Tennessee 72-yard TD pass, Glennon fumble in end zone for safety, Tennessee 67-yard TD run. The Vols had over 500 yards of total offense. Glennon was picked off three times.

Clemson 26, Auburn 19. The ACC got the Chick-Fil-A split with the Clemson win. Andre Ellington rushed for 231 yards, DeAndre Hopkins had 118 receiving yards and the go ahead touchdown.

20 year old Tennessee fan fell to his death during the Tennessee/NC State game, cheering after a touchdown.

Other ACC games…

UNC 62, Elon 0. Yes it was Elon. But impressive debut for Larry Fedora. UNC’s first shutout since 1999, and the Heels had their biggest scoring day in 17 years.

Virginia Tech 20, Georgia Tech 17 (OT). The Hokies got a 41 yard field goal as the clock ran out in regulation. Then their defense gets a turnover, and they get a game winning field goal in overtime. Interesting factoid: In the seven years the ACC has held a championship game, only the Hokies (five times) and Yellow Jackets have ever represented the Coastal Division. The victory, because of tiebreakers, essentially gives Virginia Tech a two-game lead over the Yellow Jackets.

Florida State wins 69-3, loses Senior defensive end Brandon Jenkins for the rest of the season. Duke 46, FIU 26. Miami 41, Boston College 32. Virginia 43, Richmond 19. Wake Forest 20, Liberty 17. In a shootout, Maryland 7, William & Mary 6.

Future ACC member Pittsburgh lost 31-17 to Youngstown State. It was Youngstown State’s first win over a BCS school in school history.

NFL Kicks off tomorrow night. Defending champion New York Giants vs Dallas.

I’d Like An Argument Please: Barry Bonds Belongs in the HoF

Welcome to what I hope will be a new TSB feature: I’d Like An Argument Please

The idea is self-explanatory.  I’ll post a topic, we’ll argue about it.  Having an argument should be easy for our bunch. My challenge is to make the subject worth arguing about.

Here’s today’s argument:  Barry Bonds belongs in the Hall of Fame?

Up until now the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) have had a relatively easy time dealing with the issue of PED’s and player performance.  Most of the obvious candidates for the Hall, McGwire and Palmeiro chief among them, have had a mixed enough record that the Baseball Writers have been able to say “no” and have that judgment be (more or less) accepted.  The relatively easy time of it runs out for the BBWAA runs out this year.  The deadline for balloting for 2013 candidates is December 31st.   Here’s the list of eligible candidates.  Two names immediately jump off the list:  Bonds   and Clemens.  We may return and look at Clemens at some point — today we’ll only consider Bonds.

First, a personal note:  I am a lifelong Dodger fan.  As a fan the Giants are the enemy.  As such, I never want them to win anything. Ever. Add to that the clear fact that Barry Bonds seems to be an azzhat of the highest order.  If there was a Turd Hall of Fame he’d be an all timer.  First ballot. In many ways he seems to have embodied all that is wrong with professional sport in the US.  Selfish, brash, unapproachable, and in all likelihood, starting in around 1999,  a PED user.

But despite all of that.  Barry Lamar Bonds clearly belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Here’s the case:

From 1986-1998, the period of time during which no one is alleging that Bonds used steroids, his cumulative average stat line looks like this:

.290 avg / .411 OBP / .556 slugging percentage / 31.6 home runs / 34 stolen bases

Those numbers alone are great.  Limit them to 92-98 and the numbers are even more spectacular: .308/.445/.619/39/33.

Additionally in that period, Bonds won 8 Gold Gloves and 3 Most Valuable Player Awards.  In 1996 he became only the second player ever to reach the 40(HR)/40 (SB) club.  In 1998 he became the first player ever to reach the 400/400 club in the same categories.  Sabremetrics guru Bill James rated him Baseball’s number 1 player of the decade of the 90’s .  Using cumulative statistics through 1997 The Sporting News ranked Bonds the 34th best player of all time (ranked #1 among then active players).

If he had never played another game after 1998, Bonds would have been elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 2004.  Regardless of allegations of PED use, or anything else, Barry Bonds belongs in the Hall.  What you do with his numbers after that, whether an asterisk, a special wing in the Hall or whatever, if he is not elected inot the Hall this year it will be a “travesty, a sham, a mockery, a traveshamockery…”

Arguments please?

Ryan Braun’s Suspension Lifted

Unless you are living under a rock, you already know that Ryan Braun had his 50 game suspension for failing a drug test lifted yesterday.  What you are hearing from the media on the radio and twitter is that Braun “got off” because of the test administer failing to follow protocol and mishandling the positive sample.  It is not that simple, however.  Some quick thoughts after the jump. Continue reading Ryan Braun’s Suspension Lifted

Stories of the Year

So what sports stories, events, games, scandals and other happenings stick out in your mind from 2011? There are plenty of things to choose from, here are some  of the headliners from the Big 3, the ACC, and outside the ACC.  That is the thing with sports and being a sports fan, there is always something happening…

Continue reading Stories of the Year

Epic Night of Baseball

(h/t The Fightins)

It’s not often that baseball gets it’s due over here at Thee Sports Blog, but the events that transpired last night compel me to address it.

With everything besides the Phillies & Yankees seeding up in the air as far as the Postseason is concerned, there was a ton in play last night… and it all became crystalized within about a 15 minute span last night around midnight.  If any of you were watching MLB Network at the time, it was compelling television.

First off, earlier in the evening, the Cardinals stayed alive by slaying the lowly Astros 8-0.

Then, after being down a run in the 9th, the Phillies tied up the Braves in the 9th with a sac fly off their probable Rookie of the Year closer, Craig Kimbrell.  Then with a plethora of reserves in the lineup, they manage to win it in the 13th, 4-3.

Cardinals clinch the NL Wild Card.  The biggest September collapse in history is tied by the Braves.

Within minutes, after play had resumed from a rain delay, the Red Sox and Orioles had made it to the bottom of the 9th where ace reliever Jonathon Papelbon came one out away from closing it out, only to give up back-to-back doubles to tie it before a walk-off single won it for the Orioles, 4-3.

Then literally 3 minutes later, after having come back from being down 7-0 and sending it to extra innings with a clutch 2-out, 2-strike pinch hit HR from Dan Johnson, the Rays completed the epic night in MLB when Evan Longoria blasted a solo shot to win it in the 12th against the Yankees, 8-7.

Rays clinch the AL Wild Card.  The biggest September collapse in history is broken by the Red Sox.

For all the excitement that baseball produced last night, it came at the expense of having one of the two possible 163rd games take place today, but boy was it worth it.

Your Division Series Match-ups are as follows:

TB @ TEX

DET @ NYY

ARZ @ MIL

STL @ PHI

 

The last day of the season set a high bar, but if the Postseason comes anywhere close to living up to that display, it’s going to be an amazing October!

 

Brandon Phillips – Great Two Bagger, Better Person

Brandon Phillips, two bagger for the Cincinnati Reds, has a reputation for being a good dude, so this should not be a huge surprise.  While eating at a restaurant on his off day, Phillips was checking his Twitter feed when he saw a tweet from a 14-year-old three bagger for a local team, Connor Echols.  The tweet was telling Phillips that he “should really come watch the 14u Cincy Flames in West Chester tonight.”  So what does Phillips do?  He realizes he is about ten minutes from where the game is, finishing his dinner, and goes to the game.


Echols went on to go 3 – 5 in front of Phillips, and we can only hope that in ten years this is a story about a pro ball player meeting his idol.  One thing if for certain, Phillips just added to his bank of good will, and picked up some more fans.  Big ups to Duk at Yahoo! Sports and his Big League Stew blog for bringing this to us. If you do not frequent BLS, then you are doing yourself a disservice.