Tuesday, January 29, 2013

PED's Tough on MLB...

Well here we go again.  More stories about Major League Baseball and performance enhancing drugs (PED's).   Today it's suspected "juicer" Alex Rodriguez and his association with a sports clinic in South Florida, were several noted players, including, Nelson Cruz, Gio Gonzalez, Melky Cabrera and the Padres Yasmani Grandal were treated. 

The story from reporter Tim Elfrink of the Miami New Times, who spent 3 months on the story indicates that records taken from Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic near the University of Miami, reportedly show those players and many other athletes all of whom have connections to South Florida -- received various substances from Anthony Bosch, the head of the clinic, who is already under investigation by MLB and DEA.


According to reports, Elfrink was given patient records by a former employee of the clinic. He followed up that research with multiple interviews with other former employees and clinic customers.  


From CBSSports.com on line today:



Here's a snippet of Elfrink's findings regarding the Yankees' superstar third baseman:
There, at number seven on the list, is Alex Rodriguez. He paid $3,500, Bosch notes. Below that, he writes, "1.5/1.5 HGH (sports perf.) creams test., glut., MIC, supplement, sports perf. Diet." HGH, of course, is banned in baseball, as are testosterone creams.
That's not the only damning evidence against A-Rod, though. Another document from the files, a loose sheet with a header from the 19th Annual World Congress on Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Medicine, lays out a full regimen under the name Cacique: "Test. cream... troches prior to workout... and GHRP... IGF-1... pink cream."
The mentions of Rodriguez begin in 2009 and continue all the way through last season. Take a page in another notebook, which is labeled "2012" and looks to have been written last spring. Under the heading "A-Rod/Cacique," Bosch writes, "He is paid through April 30th. He will owe May 1 $4,000... I need to see him between April 13-19, deliver troches, pink cream, and... May meds. Has three weeks of Sub-Q (as of April)."
This evidence seems pretty damning.  It's gotten so far that there is a report now that the New York Yankees are trying to void A-Rod's contract.  Though as the report indicates there is no precedent for voiding a contract due to use of PED's.  A-Rod still has 5 years and nearly $114 million left on his deal.  
More damning to me, is the fact that Rodriguez was falling out of favor already with the Yankees.  He was pinch hit for in the playoffs last year. His injuries have mounted and stats have plummeted over the last few seasons. Even though other players have been mentioned in the report (I'll get to that later)  A-Rod figures to be in the spotlight, especially after telling MLB in 2009 his PED use was limited to his 2001-03 stint with the Rangers.  
Stay tuned to see what the Yankees are able to do with the contract and how they use A-Rod if he sticks in the Bronx. 
Other Players:
Nelson Cruz of the Rangers is also mentioned in the report.  Cruz's name had not been linked to PED's in the past.  The Rangers released this statement today:
"At that time, the Rangers contacted Major League Baseball on that inquiry," the Rangers' statement said. "The team has no further comment."
Gio Gonzalez, who had a monster season for the Nationals, Melky Cabrera who was suspended last year while leading the NL in batting average for the Giants, Bartolo Colon who was suspended 50 games last year and Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal have also been implicated.  Grandal has been suspended the first 50 games of the 2013 season for testing positive for banned substances. 

Yikes for Yasmani

Hopefully for Grandal, this was a random mistake, after getting some bad advice and something that will never happen to him again.  Grandal showed the potential of an All-Star behind the plate and at the plate in the second half of 2012.  I'm sure the news of his suspension caused some fans to wonder if they've seen the real Grandal?   

We haven't heard the real story yet from Grandal, and perhaps with Spring Training around the corner, he'll explain.  After getting to know him a bit during the season, I'm really hoping he comes clean.  

This is a quick to forgive society, as I've mentioned before, the players that admit to making a mistake, usually get benefit of a second chance in the eyes of the fans. I'm ready to give him that benefit.   I however have no tolerance for those that lie about it.  That distort the truth.  That stand by a "reputation" and never come out of the shadows and set the record straight.  

It's such a shame that very talented players, like Alex Rodriguez, and Barry Bonds, who probably would have been Hall of Famers without PED's, had to keep up with the "cheaters" based on ego.  They couldn't stand seeing other players using PED's, and succeeding to levels that were still below theirs.  They had to think, "wow, imagine if I used these products, how much better would I be?".  Shame. 

What a mess.  Seems the list of those players not suspected of PED use, would be shorter to publish.  Unfortunately for them, playing in this era of baseball will have even the "non users" will be lumped in with those corrupting the game.  Again, shame on MLB for ignoring the signs, in the 90's, instead, choosing to ignore them, for the sake of putting life back into the game.  I'm not even sure enhanced testing is the answer anymore.  Seems like there is always somebody around that knows how to beat the system.  

The worst part:

I haven't even mentioned the worst part of all of this.  Jose Canseco was actually right. 
How sad is that?  

Random Rants:

...the new baseball facility at USD, Fowler Park and Cunningham Field, will open it's doors on February 15, as the Toreros take on HOF'er Tony Gwynn and San Diego State.   The park looks pretty spectacular.  Nice that USD is keeping John Cunningham's name on the field.  The former Torero's baseball coach has been at the school 50 years, and is now the Director of Transportation.  JC is a great guy and has tons of stories to share.  Thinking he would be a great subject of a blog entry one of these days.  Thoughts? 

...oh yeah, it's Superbowl Sunday next week.  I have been successfully avoiding the pre-game hype and 'media day' festivities.  Wait, I think the pre-game show itself starts in 20 minutes.  Who do you like in the game?  I'm leaning toward the 49'ers right now. 

...I am really truly happy for the city of New Orleans.  Great to see a proud city return to glory after being reduced to rubble by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.   

...mentioned on Twitter the other day that I've gotten hooked on another TV show.  I was a little late to the party on HBO's, The Newsroom, with Jeff Daniels.  I'm a big fan of the show and the writing of Aaron Sorkin.  I watched all 10 episodes of season one, in three days.  Hearing that season two will premier this summer. 

...happy to see the Aztecs basketball team ranked in the top 25 again...a great defensive effort got that job done against New Mexico.  

...hoping that this Saturday, the USD Toreros, shock the conference, and upset #7 Gonzaga. Hope you'll be on hand at the JCP, game starts at 8pm.  If you can't make it, join us on The Mighty 1090 with yours truly on the call. The Toreros have lost three straight since starting out conference play 4-0. 

...I'll leave you with a passage from one of my new favorite Twitter spots, "Modern Seinfeld"...


You can follow me on twitter also


Have a good night!

Andy

Monday, January 21, 2013

Let the hype, and story lines begin...

Thus begins the longest 13 days for football fans, the dreaded hype machine known as the "black hole" between the Conference championships and the Superbowl.  A time when fans will have to hear things like, "The Harbowl", "The Brother Bowl", "Super Baugh Brothers" and other cute little catch phrases to explain that Jim Harbaugh will face his brother John Harbaugh in the Superbowl. 

Yes, it's pretty cool that for the first time in history, two brothers will face each other as head coaches of the Superbowl teams.  Yes, as a Bears fan and a fan of USD, it's pretty cool that Jim Harbaugh is coaching a team in the big game.  Yes, it's pretty cool that Jack Harbaugh, the dad, will have a no lose situation on his hands.  Yes, it will seem to drone on and on for the next two weeks.  

Full disclosure 

I have no real rooting interest in either team.  The teams don't mean much to me.  It's going to be hard to watch the 49'ers win, since the Colin Kaepernick era began at the expense of my beloved Chicago Bears.  

It's going to be hard to watch the Ravens win, simply because I'm not a big fan of any of their players.  I'm not one to buy into the hype of Ray Lewis either, this "retirement party" has been crammed down our throats, for the new media darling.   It wasn't all that long ago, that Lewis was involved in an off the field incident at a Superbowl. It was the 2000 game between the Rams and Titans in Atlanta, and Lewis and some "associates" were at the scene of a murder.  If you want to refresh your memory, click here for the Sports Illustrated story from January 31, 2000.  

Media Coverage

Having covered a Superbowl myself, the 2007 game in Miami, it's not an easy deal.  The days are long, and the stories become tougher to come up with as the weeks draw to an end. You find yourself searching for something out of the ordinary.  Some unique thing that your competitors haven't presented yet.  Good luck huh?  That's why you'll see some pretty ridiculous stuff.  This will especially be the case on "Superbowl Media Day" at the Super Dome in New Orleans.  Sometimes, I am embarrassed to be part of the media, no day is that feeling stronger than Superbowl media day.  Ugh. 

More musings...

You'll hear more about the Superbowl in future blog updates...but now, here's some random musings...

Enough!
I need a T.O. (time out) from all the Te'o talk.  Seriously.  It's a sad situation.  This new phenomenon of "Catfish-ing" is seriously strange.  Feel badly for the kid if he's telling the truth.  I hope he is. 

Truth is Alabama exposed Manti Te'o long before the Deadspin article and ensuing tweets and stories.  

Some wonder if maybe Lance Armstrong had something to do with this, to deflect attention from him?  Ha! 

Find out now that Te'o will actually do an on camera interview with Katie Couric this week.  Apparently Jeremy Shaap was too tired from having to recap his "off camera" interview ad nauseum?  Maybe Oprah was tuckered out after her two part mini series with Armstrong? 

Leads to another thought pointed out on Twitter this week:


Bits and pieces...quickly...

...looks like Seattle is getting the NBA again.  Many that I've talked to from the Pacific Northwest are not thrilled with the trade off, having lost the Sonics to Oklahoma City a few years back.  Hmm, Kevin Durant or DeMarcus Cousins?  Easy choice and it isn't Cousins. 

...anybody really sad to see the Lakers going through adversity?  I guess it wasn't Mike Brown's fault after all.  Have heard some Laker fans refer to the new head coach as Mike 'Antoni because he left his "D" somewhere else.  

...both San Diego schools lost Saturday night.  The Toreros ran into a hot shooting BYU team in the first conference loss for USD.  The Aztecs managed only 9 points in the first half of their loss at Wyoming.  Hope both teams bounce back this week. 

...I may be alone, but I'm thrilled the NHL is back, especially with my Chicago Blackhawks off to a 2-0 start.  5-2 in game one against the Kings in LA, and a 6-4 win Sunday night at Phoenix.  Seemed like NHL fans are quick to forgive labor unrest, most of the arenas have been sold out during the first weekend of the truncated season.  Love that word truncated by the way!

...baseball lost two greats over the weekend.  Stan "the man" Musial passed away at the age of 92.  The first ballot Hall of Famer spent his entire 22 year career with the St. Louis Cardinals.  He had a batting average above .300 17 times during his career and earned three National League Most Valuable Player awards as well as three World Series titles. 
Former Orioles skipper Earl Weaver passed away at the age of 82.  Weaver managed the O's for 17 seasons and had 1,480 wins including five 100-win seasons and a World Series title in 1970.

Enough Part II


A report from an Altanta television station says that a Falcons fan was stabbed in the neck during an altercation outside the Georgia Dome after the NFC Championship Game.  The victim is a 35 year old male, and was stabbed after punching a 49'ers fan.  After absorbing the punch, the Niner's fan stabbed the Falcons fan in the throat.  The victim is said to be in stable condition.  

Enough is enough.  I am a passionate sports fan, as you probably are too, but what is going on here?  It's one thing to root for your team, it's another to taunt, or hit, or stab an opposing fan.  Seriously?  Things have gotten out of control.  Is it alcohol?  Is it stupidity?  Is it idiots with an excuse to act like an idiot?  Stop it.  You are giving REAL sports fans a bad name. 

I'm done here....hope you enjoyed....

Andy

Friday, January 18, 2013

Greetings from Provo, UT, where the USD Toreros will face BYU tomorrow night.  More on that later.  

Hope you are enjoying the blogs I've posted lately.  Trying to keep a balance between, news, rants, fun and opinion, so there will be a little of everything to look forward to.  

Let's get some news out of the way here....

Arbitration: Padres

The Padres have avoided arbitration with a few key players, wrapping up pitcher Edinson Volquez earlier today.  He went 11-11 with a 4.14 ERA in his first year with the Padres after coming over from Cincinnati.  Volquez will make 5.725 million next season, more than doubling his salary from 2012.  Volquez has nasty stuff.  His curveball is above average, his fastball is above average but so were his walks from a year ago.  Volquez is always smiling and is a great person to be around.

Joe Thatcher avoided arbitration as well, signing a 1.35 million dollar contract.  Thatcher has become one of the most reliable left handed relievers in baseball.  He went 1-4 last year with a 3.41.  He's one of the longest tenured Padres players, coming over from the Brewers (for Scott Linebrink) back in the 2007 season. 

Earlier the Padres signed catcher John Baker, SS Everth Cabrera and RF Will Venable to avoid arbitration.  

Now, there are a few guys left that are key components to the Padres 2013 plans.   That includes, Chase Headley, Luke Gregerson and Clayton Richard.

In Headley's case, he is going to get his money.  The third baseman had a bust out season, winning the NL RBI title, with 115 batted in, hitting a career best 31 homers and winning a gold glove award.  I'm sure the Padres would like to work out a long term deal with Headley but for now they'll probably settle on a one year deal while discussing other terms.  Pretty amazing how Headley was a trade candidate nearing the deadline, just proving the baseball adage, sometimes the best trade is one you don't make.  

Gregerson is on the Team USA roster for the WBC and has been a valuable member of the Padres bullpen over the last 4 seasons.  Richard won a career high tying 14 games last year and also launched his first career home run in his final start of 2012.  

Toreros at BYU

Well the Toreros arrived in Provo earlier this afternoon, greeted by a temperature of 16 degrees and snow on the ground and on the mountain tops.  Many of the guys on the team are very unfamiliar with the concept of snow, and cold weather.  It was fun to watch their reactions as we got off the bus and headed into the hotel.  

The Toreros have not been cold by any stretch.  USD enters this game with a 4-0 conference record for the first time since 2009.  The Toreros have won five in a row overall.  BYU is 4-1 and lost a heartbreaker to St Mary's College on Wednesday night.  Thinking Tyler Haws had won the game with a jumper with 2.5 seconds to go, Matthew Dellavedova hoisted a desperation 3 from just beyond half court and hit it for the SMC victory.  

BYU won all three meetings last year including a close one in the 2nd round of the WCC Tourney.  The Toreros have never beaten the Cougars in 5 all time meetings.  I'll have the pre game show for you at 5:45 tomorrow and then the tip at 6pm on The Mighty 1090!

Restaurant review:

I may do this from time to time as well, relay a good or bad experience at a local restaurant.  I recently had lunch with Corey Brock of MLB.com fame at the Brooklyn Girl Eatery in Mission Hills.  I really enjoyed the restaurant.   The ambience is really nice, high ceilings and a great bar situated in the center of the restaurant.  I had the open faced pulled chicken with barbecue sauce on a big piece of white cheddar corn bread.  Really really tasty.  A good deal for 12 bucks as well.  

Of course when you're with Corey, you need to sample a beer and of course we did.  Check with them for their selection of fine "Craft Beers".  

Service was great and friendly and oh yeah, don't forget to check out the assortment of desserts in the bakery attached to the restaurant.  Everything looked tremendous. 

They are located at Goldfinch and Fort Stockton in Mission Hills.  Check it out.  

Ok, that's it gotta go!  

Andy

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ramblings and a look behind the curtain...

It's been a fairly quiet few days in the world of sports...but a few things struck a chord...

At a gLANCE

It's really a commentary on the emphasis on winning and winning at all costs.  Lance Armstrong, a former 7 time Tour De France champion, denied and denied that he was a doper.  They anti-doping agency finally busts him after all these years.  Then Lance admits he cheated, but only in an interview with Oprah.  Seriously??   I'm sure he was paid handsomely for his appearance on Oprah's fledgeling OWN network.  Ok, so you admitted what everybody already knew.  So admirable.  NOT.   It took Pete Rose to write a book ($$$) to admit what we all knew already, he bet on baseball.  Do these guys think we are that stupid?  It's a quick to forgive society as it is already, so just cop to it, chances are pretty good that you'll be forgiven.  

Got me thinking too about Armstrong's scene in the movie "DodgeBall", here's the dialogue, courtesy of IMDB:

Lance Armstrong: Could I get a bottle of water. - - Hey, aren't you Peter La Fleur? Peter La Fleur: Lance Armstrong! Lance Armstrong: Yeah, that's me. But I'm a big fan of yours. Peter La Fleur: Really? Lance Armstrong: Yeah, I've been watching the dodgeball tournament on the Ocho. ESPN 8. I just can't get enough of it. But, good luck in the tournament. I'm really pulling for you against those jerks from Globo Gym. I think you better hurry up or you're gonna be late. Peter La Fleur: Uh, actually I decided to quit... Lance. Lance Armstrong: Quit? You know, once I was thinking about quitting when I was diagnosed with brain, lung and testicular cancer, all at the same time. But with the love and support of my friends and family, I got back on the bike and I won the Tour de France five times in a row. But I'm sure you have a good reason to quit. So what are you dying from that's keeping you from the finals? Peter La Fleur: Right now it feels a little bit like... shame. 
Lance Armstrong: Well, I guess if a person never quit when the going got tough, they wouldn't have anything to regret for the rest of their life. But good luck to you Peter. I'm sure this decision won't haunt you forever.   
 Interesting stuff, and boy how art sometimes imitates life. 

Hiring frenzy in NFL

Eagles: The big money and the lights of the NFL, coaxed Oregon's Chip Kelly into bolting Eugene, for Philadelphia.  Kelly was 46-7 with the Ducks.  He decided last week to head back to Oregon after interviewing with the Browns, Eagles and Bills, but has had a change of heart.  What this will mean for players at Oregon, who were recruited to fit Kelly's style, is unclear at this time.  How will his "style" work in the NFL?  Does this mean the team makes a commitment to Michael Vick?  Stay tuned!

Chargers: Former Broncos Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy as their new head coach.  He had to contrast his style in a big way this past season.  With Tim Tebow as his QB a couple of years ago, the offense had to have some interesting "wrinkles" so not to expose the limited ability of Tebow.  This year, the offense hummed, with the return to the NFL of Peyton Manning.  The Broncos however were upset by Baltimore last weekend.  From all I heard of the press conference yesterday, sounds like the Chargers got themselves a good fit and a good coach.  

Bears: Oy.  There were apparently not any qualified candidates in the entire United States for the Bears.  They reach (emphasis on reach) to the CFL and hire Marc Trestman who led the Montreal Alouette's to 2 Grey Cup Championships.  He is a former NFL Offensive Coordinator, and spent time with the Lions, 49'ers, Vikings, Browns, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Raiders and Dolphins.  He joins former Vikings head coach Bud Grant, and former Bills head coach Marv Levy among NFL head coaches that worked as front men in Canada.  It is about time that the Bears found an offensive minded coach, since that has been the week part of their game since 1995. 

Hockey is Back!

I know that I'm in the minority here in San Diego, but I'm excited that the NHL is finally back.  The truncated schedule begins Saturday with my Chicago Blackhawks skating into LA, to face the Kings.  Mission: ruin championship banner night!   Sorry Kings fans.

USD at home

The Toreros will host LMU tonight at the JCP, please join me for the call starting at 6:45 on The Mighty 1090.  The Toreros are off to a great conference start, winning their first 3 in the WCC and look to make it 4 in a row for the first time since 2009.   

A look behind the curtain

I've had several young broadcasters ask me to show the "game board" that I use for my college basketball play by play.  It's a board that I designed myself using Excel.  It's also a board that has changed drastically over the years.  I'm constantly taking things out, and putting things in, after each season, sometimes during a season. 

  
I have a couple of things highlighted: 
(A) is where I put team information, including the last game's result and during conference play what the season series is, and scores and notes. 
(B) coach information, including his record
(C) small notations indicating a players career highs in pts-reb-ast-(blocks)
(D) the blank space is where I keep a running total of the players points that night.  Hate relying on stat monitors
(E) players notes, including what they did in the last game
(F) the 16-12-8-4 indicates media time outs, I like to cross them off to remember how many breaks we've taken
(G) team's record at home, away and on neutral floors
(H) time outs, again I like to mark them myself, scoreboards are usually wrong.  Helps late in a game. 

That's what I got today....hope you enjoyed.  Have a great week.

Andy

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Twitter a better viewing experience...

Ok, I love the NFL just like a lot of you out there, but admit it, the playoffs are tough to watch when your team isn't there.  Yes, it's great football, but it gets you thinking, "man if the (insert team name here) just kicked the field goal instead of going for it....." or "(your favorite team here) beat those guys in the regular season...."  It's maddening.  

Now, I will admit, the Falcons and Seahawks game was entertaining, but I could really care less which team won.  So I turned to Twitter, yes Twitter.  While the social media service does have it's faults, it serves it's purpose during big events.  I was hooked during the National Championship game, and even partook in some of the fun.  Twitter makes it seem like you are all in my living room watching the game with me.  Wise cracking comments, keen observations, rips on the announcers (ok that hits home a bit), rips on the coverage from the networks and more importantly just funny funny stuff.  I've assembled some of my favorites from the NFC Divisional round...





Wayne is the play by play voice of the Packers, so you can understand his sarcasm.




Excellent "Ace Ventura" reference there Matt!



Sorry Wayne!

Ouch!

Go get em Jay!

Oops, that one had nothing to do with the game, but I'm a HUGE Seinfeld fan, and these make me laugh all the time!

So there's a little light reading for you during the AFC Division game between New England and Houston.  

I may return later, but I will definitely be watching, on TWITTER!

Andy

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hall of Fame, who is to blame?

Greetings from San Francisco, arrived today with the USD Toreros for tomorrow night's game against USF.

Seems fitting I'm in San Francisco, while the news of no players getting into baseball's Hall of Fame comes out.  The spotlight has shown on all of those "suspected PED" users, including Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa.  None of them received more than 38 percent of the vote.  Clemens was the top guy of the group and Sosa was last.  It was the first time since 1996 that nobody was elected, and the eight time its ever happened. 

It's hard to feel badly for these guys.  I thought that early in their careers Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were going to be Hall of Famers, no doubt.  But they allegedly surrendered to temptation, seeing everybody else cashing in with big numbers and big contracts, why shouldn't they?   Nobody was being suspended for something that was never "illegal" in baseball.  Then there's the case of Sammy Sosa.  I covered him with the Chicago Cubs from 1999 until he was traded after the 2004 season.  This was a guy that all of the sudden had become a home run hitter.  He wasn't early in his career.  He was bigger and the ego ballooned along with it.  Steroids weren't his only problem, his attitude and a "me first, team second" philosophy made him a target of his own teammates.  When the Cubs were taking off in 2003 and Sosa was on the DL, he was outraged that he wasn't THE guy.  When he came back, his timing was off, and he resorted to corking his bat.  He was busted when the bat shattered and the wine topper came flying out of the bat.  Sad.  

What a mess this has created.  Many current Hall of Famers have been outspoken about keeping the "cheaters" out of Cooperstown.  Some have expressed shock over the outcome of the voting.  Some BBWA writers were adamant about keeping the "users" off their ballots, some were proud they voted for some of these guys.  Bottom line something is wrong.  Who is to blame?   

Nobody is benefiting from any doubt.  If you played in this era, you are looked at a bit differently.  

You have to start with the steroid era itself.  Baseball in general seemingly turned a blind eye to the problem when Sosa and McGwire were battling it out for home run supremacy in baseball back in 1998.   It was great for the game.  A game that needed something great after canceling the playoffs and world series in 1994 because of the players strike.  Fans were angry.  All seemed right with the game though during the battle and nobody really cared why.   So who do you point the finger at?  MLB?  The players that allegedly used?  The teammates that saw it going on and did nothing?  It's easily shared.  Curt Schilling, who like him or not, actually made some good points today after the voting was announced.  He told ESPN's SportsCenter that it was "fitting" that nobody got in.  He went on to say on ESPN:
“If there was ever a ballot and a year to make a statement about what we didn’t do as players -- which is we didn’t actively push to get the game clean -- this is it,”  “Perception in our world is absolutely reality. Everybody is linked to it,” Schilling said. “You either are a suspected user or you’re somebody who didn’t actively do anything to stop it. You’re one or the other if you were a player in this generation. 
“Unfortunately, I fall into the category of one of the players that didn’t do anything to stop it. As a player rep and a member of the association, we had the ability to do it and we looked the other way, just like the media did, just like the ownership did, just like the fans did. And now this is part of the price that we’re paying.” 
I don't often find myself agreeing with Schilling, but he makes some sense. 

Some are blaming the voting process itself.  Forget the "issues" surrounding some of these guys, but some would like to see a change in the voting process.  There are members of the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) who were formerly "beat writers" that haven't covered baseball in a long time, in some cases over 10 years, that still get a vote.  How out of touch are those guys?  Newspapers aren't the only game in town anymore.  Many are not surviving the new age of readily available information on the internet.  The "beat guys" are not confined to just newspaper writers anymore.   Some of these esteemed writers saw fit not to let, Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Harmon Killebrew, Jimmie Foxx and Cy Young into the hall on their first ballot.  Seriously? 

I may be biased in this regard, but there are no broadcasters who regularly covered or cover teams, or national network broadcasters that are given a vote.  These are people that traveled with teams, and never missed games.  I would like to see the senior broadcaster from each team, somehow figure into the mix here.   Are you telling me that Vin Scully shouldn't have an opinion that counts in the voting? 
  
Another question to ponder is what does this mean for next year's class of first timers on the ballot?  Guys like Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Mike Mussina and Frank Thomas are on in 2014 and you could certainly make a case that 2 or 3 of them belong in on a first vote.  

But the bottom line is these guys with the steroid label are going to find it tough sledding in the years ahead.  Some have said that with Bonds and Clemens each getting around 37 percent of the vote, after a few years, they may eventually get in.  I say, if they get in, Pete Rose should be there before them.  He finally admitted to gambling on baseball, and has done his time away from the game.  But if the all-time hits leader isn't in, why should those guys be?  

Again, this is just my opinion, and I'd be curious to hear yours.

Chargers New GM:

The Chargers ended their search for a new GM, and I must confess I don't know much about Tom Telesco.  He spent the last 15 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, most recently as the team's Vice President of football operations.  Telesco had a hand in selecting many of the young players that helped the Colts reach the playoffs this season.  

To hear some more from Telesco, check out Darren Smith's Mighty 1090 interview with him from earlier today.  Just click here.   Darren is one of the best interviewers in our business.  



Alright, don't forget that Thursday night at 6:45 on the Mighty 1090, I'll have the call as the USD Toreros face the USF Don's in West Coast Conference basketball.  Join me!

Have a great night!

Andy 




Monday, January 7, 2013

National Championship Bore...and more....



After a month of hype, the BCS National Championship game failed to live up to the advanced billing.  It wasn't because of the matchup, because on paper it was a good one.  It was because it became a BLOWOUT.  

Alabama rolled, and rolled and rolled, putting the rock in the endzone at a frenzied pace.  Notre Dame didn't know what hit it, leading head coach Brian Kelly to perhaps hope The Crimson Tide team didn't return to the field for the 2nd half.  Wishful thinking.  They did, and Alabama wins it's 3rd national title in the last four seasons.  

Ok, enough about the game.  There was so much more happening.  I discovered that the cure for a blowout, is among other things, Twitter.  Reading all the tweets, and sending a few of my own, made watching an otherwise boring game almost fun. I'm convinced, as are some in the "Twitterverse", that this is the reason Twitter was invented.  Especially when it came to AJ McCarron's girlfriend.  Play by play man Brent Musburger almost crossed the "creepy old man line" when identifying the QB's young lady, Miss Alabama Katherine Webb.  Imagine, just 5 or so years ago, we'd never know that her followers went from just over 500 to nearly 80-thousand in one night!  I admit, I contributed, when ESPN's cameras found Miss Webb yet again!


I mean she's a good looking girl and all, but I felt a bit dirty listening to Brent drone on and on about her.  


ESPN

I couldn't help but think though as Musburger was doing his thing, about a lesson I learned as a young broadcaster.  Good games basically call themselves, a bad game, means the announcers have to really go to work.  As a play by play announcer you have to find a way to keep the audience.  Keep them listening and somewhat paying attention.  This is when the announcer really earns their money.  We all kept watching, so, job well done.  

USD Toreros

My off season has been all about the USD Toreros.  I'm in my 6th season of calling Torero's basketball, and I'm having a blast as always.  Our games are back on The Mighty 1090 this season, so make sure you tune in.   My next broadcast is coming up Thursday night from San Francisco.  Pre game at 6:45 and the tip is at 7pm.  
The Toreros opened up WCC play with a win over Portland last Thursday night, while the Dons are 0-2 after losses to Santa Clara and BYU. 

Parting shots

- For those that missed it last week, the Padres announced that FanFest will return to Petco Park, February 9.  The event is free to the public.  Further details will be available soon and I'll pass them along. 

- The team also announced that they've extended spring training invitations to 21 players.  Some names are familiar, some are not.  Read more about it here.

- I may be alone in thinking this way in San Diego, but I'm glad that the NHL lockout has finally come to an end.  I don't understand how Gary Bettman remains commissioner though. How do you survive 3 different lockouts?  I understand that there are just a few of us 'die hard' hockey fans out there, but those of us that are, deserve better.  Baseball survived the 1994 players strike, because it was popular before the work stoppage.  It's a National Pastime.  Hockey isn't, unless you live in Canada.  Hockey had begun to grow again, especially in American cities, like Chicago, Boston and now Los Angeles, with recent Stanley Cup Championships.  Anyway, welcome back NHL.  

- Oh yeah, before I forget.  Anybody know how to get mustard stains out of light colored carpet.  I've tried all the store bought brands of carpet cleaner.  Nothing is working.  Help!!

Good night!!

OH, and don't forget to follow me on Twitter:


@PadsCast on Twitter