Wrapping Up Big East Quarter Finals Preview

Posted on March 11, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Okay, I am batting ZERO through the afternoon games of the quarter finals, so I am ready to redeem myself in the evening session.  

But there’s one problem . . . when it comes to Pitt, I’m a homer.  So I have to pick them.  No way around it. 

Even though the Panthers were embarrassed in South Bend during the regular season by a Harangody-less Notre Dame team, I have faith tonight.   Why?

Easy.  Revenge.

The Irish were desperate for a win with their NCAA tournament hopes on the line when these teams met during the season.  They shot at a ridiculous clip in the first half against Pitt.  Every time I turned around, Tim Abromaitis – which sounds like an STD to me – was tickling the twine.  He infected the vaunted defense of the Panthers, that’s fo sho.  But Pitt regrouped to win its last three and if I know this team, I know they play well with a chip on their shoulder and Notre Dame left a sour taste in their mouths.

Not to mention, Madison Square Garden has been good to the Panthers this decade, with Pitt going 24-10 and playing in seven of the last nine Big East championship games.  So . . .

Pitt wins 68-62.  I know.  You’re shocked . . .

******

Will Huggy Bear look like this tonight? We'll see . . .

In the final game of the night, West Virginia and Bob Huggins face his ex, Cincinnati, for a spot in the semis.  Mick Cronin has the Bearcats scraping and clawing their way through the Big East tournament, winning their two games by a total of four points.

But that ends here. 

Why? 

The Mountaineers have three guys – Butler, Jones and Ebanks – who score more than Cincinnati’s leading scorer, Lance Stephenson.  Even if WVU struggles shooting early, they have too much offense for the Bearcats to overcome.

Plus, the basketball gods want a Pitt – WVU semi-final game.  It’s as simple as that. 

West Virginia wins 73-66

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ROAD TRIP: Second Installment – Cleveland OH

Posted on September 11, 2009. Filed under: Beer, Life, MLB, NFL, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

ON THE ROAD AGAIN:  After two great days in Cincinnati – props to the Cincinnatian Hotel downtown on Vine St, especially to the bartender Natasha – and don’t you meet the most interesting people in a hotel bar?   Not to digress, but I will, we met a wonderful, loving woman who along with her other daughter, was helping her eldest battle late-stage breast cancer, and a very talkative Australian guy in his sixties, who has traveled America coast-to-coast, visiting the nooks and crannies of our beautiful country.  Something most Americans never get a chance to do . . . 

Anyway, we drove the four hour trek to Cleveland in time to check into the downtown Wyndham hotel – which was a steal of a deal at $105 bucks for the night, and then walk the two blocks to the Jake.  Progressive Field, I mean . . . although most of the fans still sported THE JAKE shirts . . .

It’s a gorgeous ballpark, and I’d have to rate it ahead of the Great American Ballpark in Cincy.  The open “floor plan” was condusive to catching the game action from almost anywhere, and the beer prices were lower.  Plus any park that has an open bar in centerfield with the game cornhole set up next to it must have been well thought out . . .

The ushers at Progressive field weren’t very pleasant, you could even say they were annoyed at you being there, shooing people away and not making eye contact when talking to, or AT you . . .

A product of not winning a championship since the Browns did it in 1964?  Before the Super Bowl era?  Probably . . .

One of my favorite moments came after the game when we walked to down the street to “Harry Buffalo”, a rustic sports bar that had $2, 23oz Miller Lites – cheers – when a young girl who couldn’t have been older than 22 and was TANKED, approached me for directions with her two tagalongs – This is how the conversation went:

DLG (Drunk Little Girl):  Heyeyeyeyey!!  (while chewing gum with her mouth wider than Angela Jolie’s legs) D’ya know where the wess end issss?

ME:  No, I’m sorry but I’m not from here.

DLG:  Wowww, where ya from then? (chew, chew, chew, snap)

ME:  Pittsburgh, we’re visiting different . . .
 
DLG:  WAIT!  D’ya saya Pisssttburgh? (no more chewing, mouth just hung open)

ME:  Yes.

DLG:  Are ya Steelers flan?

ME:  Yes.

DLG :  F*#K OFF!   (chew, chew, snap)

Then she quickly stormed down the street sideways, with her tagalongs in tow, before I gathered my thoughts to say, “okay, and I’ll take our six lombardi trophies with me.”

I think I was in shock that this young chick would say something like that to me.  I’m a 30-year old woman.  Do kids have ANY respect any more? 

Or is it just a product of not winning a championship since the Browns did it in 1964?  Before the Super Bowl era?  Probably . . .

 

An Ode to Cleveland….

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ROAD TRIP: First Installment – Cincinnati OH

Posted on September 2, 2009. Filed under: Beer, Life, MLB, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

YES!  I am voluntarily going on a road trip visiting baseball parks and the NFL Hall of Fame.  I mention my intentions for my vacation to many with an overwhelming response ” why not the beach?”  Because as my readers know, I LOVE SPORTS.  Any chance I get to enhance my sports experience, knowledge or actuality, I WILL.  Plus,  I am more into beer than I am bathing suits right now . . .

FIRST STOP:  Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati OH – Courtesy of Mo Egger, of WLW & WCKY radio in Cincy, you can check him cincinnati-ohout at http://1530homer.com/pages/mo.html, where you can enjoy the Cincinnati sports rhetoric and the insightful female  commentary to this statement “August 31st, 2009, when the Reds played the Pirates in front of maybe 1,500 people.”  My husband, Jason, and I were at the afternoon game today and there were BARELY that many people at the park and the “paid attendance” was 11,516 – I thought to myself, who in the heck are you trying to impress?   Seriously?  Besides that weird calculation, there were many fabulous, and several funny, things about our trip to Cincy this far.  Including:

WOOHOO!  You can buy beer in a coinvienence store . . .

Okay, you got me, that wasn’t the first thing I realized, but it was VERY high up on the priority list . . .

Pittsburgh 6AM – First stop 9:30AM – While you are driving from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati, you don’t realize how southern you are getting.  We stopped about 30 miles outside of Cincy at a Mickey Ds (Jeffersontown?) – cause its the ONLY recognizable stop for a good 80 mile stretch – and the accent was crazy!    One of the workers was shouting over and over again- CAN WE GET FRESH EGGS WITH THAT BIG BREAKFAST? in an insane southern accent – just stop and say that to yourself several times . . . crazy.

Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park is gorgeous – the only thing I didn’t like is that you can’t see the field from the entire concourse.

As we got in the ball park after sneaking a quick chugging of a couple miller lites – you never want to take chances in visiting ball parks with drinking in public – just fyi . . . we bought a couple of beers  – 16 oz plastics at $7.50 a piece . . . so we were paying a buck fifty each beer pair more than we do at PNC PArk in Pittsburgh – but guess what?  We don’t care, we are on VACATION!!!

Then, we turn around the corner and find a BAR.  A real live bar where you can order SHOTS. Yes, shots . . . so Jason and I did some tequila.  Who wants to hear my joke?  Okay, you do . . .

Why did the husband throw his wife over the bridge? 

TEQUILA!!!  Get it?  I hope so . . .

Anyway, here are a few more observations on our trip so far:

LOVE the highlight zone with 13 flat screen TVs – although only 4 were ON while we were there . . . 

Weird, random, female fan overdosed on tanning and had an accordian skin two rows in front of us . . . gross.

Loved the Skyline Chili Dogs – got a FREE dog and just LOVED the dish . . . Big ‘n Rich weren’t lyin . . .

Met a few extra cool fans – including the newly 21 year olds, Kelly & Ben  . . . both them and their parents were FAB!

The Police Officers were also top notch, including Officers, Jodice & Brehm . . . picture coming soon!

Thanks for a great expderince, Cincinnati!

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MLB Quick Hitters . . .

Posted on April 14, 2009. Filed under: MLB | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

As we move into the meat of the second week of the young baseball season, I have a few thoughts on what has taken place so far on the diamond:

I GOT 5 ON A STEINBRENNER EXPLODING . . . Hey Bud Selig, I would dedicate an official to monitoring Alex Rodriguez closely as he rehabs.  Someone in the Yankees organization just might try to pump him up with HGH so he can heal faster.  Cody Ransom looks lost in the field and is batting .083.  Nick Swisher is leading the team in every offensive category, which is NOT a good thing, and he pitched a scoreless eighth inning last night in the game against the Rays that should have ended in the 5th inning via the mercy rule.   Watch the madness for yourself:

P.S.  And the Pirates have a better record.  We are just starting the 2009 campaign, and Joe Girardi has got to be looking over his shoulder . . .

OH WHERE OH WHERE HAVE MY CY YOUNG AWARD WINNERS GONE?  I could have told you that Cliff Lee was going to fall off the face of the Earth this year.  In fact, I did on my radio show  when I previewed fantasy baseball action.  He was always inconsistent, and in 2007 was even sent to the minors, without pitching 100 innings at the major league level.  Could last year be an “I’m going to show them” aberration?  With an 0-2 record and an ERA of 9.90, it’s looking that way so far.  We’ll see.

Tim Lincecum is also sitting ugly with an ERA of 7.56, winless in two starts this season.  Lincecum is having trouble locating his heat with only 56.1% catching the strike zone.  Last year he had amazing command with two-thirds of his fastballs thrown for strikes as he led the majors in strikeouts.  With two seasons of work to scout, hitting coaches will have more material to research so batters won’t be as wide eyed at the plate, and that’s expected during a young pitcher’s development. 

However, I’m more confident in Lincecum shaping up once he regains confidence in his fastball than I am in Lee figuring out whatever it is that’s making last season’s performace look like mirage . . .

 

Nyjer Morgan leads the Pirates in hits (12) and average (.387)

Nyjer Morgan leads the Pirates in hits (12) and average (.387)

QUICK!  END THE SEASON . . .

At 4-3, the Pittsburgh Pirates are still above .500.  They look like they have a new attitude and it starts with their scrappy lead off hitter and left fielder, Nyjer Morgan.  He is tearing up the base paths with an OBP of .424 and 3 steals, breaking up double plays and drawing from his hockey playing days to take out catchers at the plate – just ask Ramon Hernandez of the Reds what it feels like to be bulldozed.  In Sunday’s loss to Cincinnati, Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez not only turned an amazing, “oh no you didn’t” double play, but they chimed in on a triple play, the first for the franchise in 16 years.  Oh, what a coincidence, the Pirates haven’t had a winning season in 16 years either . . . 

PLUS . . . pitcher Zach Duke is returning to form, undefeated in two starts at 2-0 with a minuscule ERA of .59.  Pirate fans are wearing out their knees, praying that they can keep this up, avoiding their 17th consecutive losing season and the distinguished title of professional sports’ worst franchise.  Let’s go Bucs . . .    

CARL PAVANO’S ERA IS 81.00 . . . No, that’s not a typo.  Plus he’s making $11 million this season.  Where’s Alyssa Milano when you need her?  Heck, with Cleveland’s pitching making fans sick, they’d be better off bringing in Charlie Sheen to pitch as Rick Vaughn.  At least they’d be entertained while almost winless . . .

YOU RANG?  Is it me, or does Aaron HARANG look like Lurch from the Addams Family?   At 6’7″ he’s definitely tall enough.  To get the full effect you have to pronounce Harang in the same drawn out, creepy way Lurch delivered his infamous line “You rang?”  See for yourselves . . .

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Time To Change The Unis . . .

Posted on April 9, 2009. Filed under: Life, NFL | Tags: , , , , , , , |

HELLO MCFLY . . . On the heels of Cleveland Browns’ wide receiver, Donte Stallworth, being charged with striking and killing a man while driving drunk, you would think people might learn a thing or two about designating a driver. 

Nope.

Leon Hall With Then Proud Head Coach Marvin Lewis.  Now?  Not So Much . . .

Leon Hall With Then Proud Head Coach Marvin Lewis. Now? Not So Much . . .

Last night, cornerback Leon Hall successfully brought the rains to the year-long arrest drought in Cincinatti Bengal land, by being charged with suspicion of DUI.  I love how it’s reported – suspicion of DUI – what more proof do you need?  The guy’s blood-alcohol level was 0.149 – almost twice Ohio’s legal limit of .08!  He was driving VERY drunk.

Now the Bengals are back in familiar territory.  Maybe they’ll play better this year . . . Since 2000, the players of that organization have had 24 run-ins with those who serve and protect.  Granted, Chris Henry lays claim to several of them, however that number is ridiculous.  What is going on with their scouting or player development?  There’s something missing in the Queen City and I’m not talking about Lombardi trophies.

IS IT THE UNIS?  Bright orange and stripes are just NOT working out for the Cincinnati Bengals anymore.  In fact,

Now They Won't Be Mistaken For Bengals Fans, Right???

Now They Won't Be Mistaken For Bengals Fans, Right???

the colors are so reminiscent of prison gear that a nearby county jail in Kentucky switched the inmates’ attire to pink.  HOT pink.  The warden doesn’t want an escapee to blend in with the fans at Paul Brown stadium . . .

I think it might be time for a new look, Cincinnati.  Hey, the Lions might do it . . .

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