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Hello? Is this thing on?

It’s been a year so I wouldn’t be surprised if I am writing for only myself here, but I have once again been inspired. I was witness last night to what Cole Hamels thought was introducing “old school” baseball to a 19 year-old rookie.

Dear MLB, suspending a pitcher for 5 games is like not suspending him at all. Why do you have equal punishment for a pitcher and a position player? Ban him 10 games, so that he at least misses two starts, or 15 games even. It’s a joke to suspend a pitcher 5 games. With all of the bounty talk in the NFL, baseball should look a little more closely at deterring “old school” baseball.

A bunch of thoughts before I wrap…

  • Was Hamels hit in the head with a baseball himself? We all know you did it intentionally, but do you really think you look good by admitting it? It was fitting that Harper went on to steal home on Hamels and score the first run of the game.
  • “Natitude” is stupid, don’t detract from a good season (so far) with a stupid slogan.
  • Phillies fans in the stands – this is why people from Philadelphia are said to be the worst fans in the league. Just because someone played Freaky Friday with your divisional records this year, doesn’t mean you cheer on bad behavior. Unless it is done in retaliation and was well deserved, of course. I am actually surprised you didn’t cheer when Werth went down from his wrist injury.
  • Nats fans – RG3 chants, really? You have a winning team on the field and you’re longing for football already? You’re acting like Cubs fans, where looking forward to football season is all we have left.
  • At least this game kept me from watching the Flyers game.
  • Quote of the game … “every time I look up the Nats have two outs with nobody on.”

Going to a game is not as much fun when you don’t have anyone to cheer for, good thing Hamels gave me a reason to cheer for the Nats. And much like the team I usually cheer for, they lost.

Dear single reader of mine, I want to tell you about something cool.

Before I moved over to the corporate social team, Sears Auto Center’s Exploring My America was my baby. Blood, sweat and tears went into the development of program. Part of that was not only coming up with the calendar of events, but in the specific case of the baseball trip, coming up with the actual games/dates. Not only do you get to go to 3 games (route options below), but you also get to go in the broadcast booth for one of those games.

I don’t know if you know this (I’m assuming you might, since I am pretty sure you’re one of my existing friends), our goal is to go to every baseball stadium. We visit about 3 new stadiums a year, and so far, we’ve road tripped to see most of them. And I’ve NEVER gotten to go into the broadcast booth during a game.

So, I wanted to tell you about it, in case you haven’t heard about it before; and encourage you to find out more about it (there’s a lot more to it then I wrote here) and enter (your odds are pretty good). And if baseball isn’t your bag, then there are other cool trips coming up, such as a trip to Bumbershoot, and if the Owners and Players can pull their heads out of their … then a football trip too.

But if baseball is your thing, go quickly, the entry period is only until July 2nd!

Date East Coast Option Midwest Option West Coast Option South Option
SundayAug 7th NYY @
Boston
CHW @ Minnesota Seattle @ LAA Oakland @ Tampa Bay
TuesdayAug 9th LAA @ NYY Washington @ CHC Pittsburgh @ San Fran Atlanta @ Florida
FridayAug 12th Detroit @ Baltimore San Diego @ Cincinnati

OR MIN @ Cleveland

Boston @ Seattle CHC @ Atlanta

I’ve never hid my dislike for so many southern NHL teams, just ask my former students.

For years there has been a problem with certain teams having a hard times filling up their arenas, and having a hard time generating any interest when competing for fan dollars with baseball, basketball and/or football depending on the city.

This isn’t a problem unique to Atlanta – who could forget that the NHL had to actually step in and take ownership of the Coyotes last year? And let’s go further back, how about 2004 while in the playoffs the Lightning tried using free beer to entice people to buy season tickets for the following season?

Before the Jets migrated south, their attendance was low, but if attendance was the only determining factor to a team staying, the Islanders would have been gone years ago. Poor management, financial troubles, and the need for a new arena were all contributing factors. (Actually, maybe Islander fans should be worried they’re looking at the next iteration of the Nordiques.)

I’m happy to see a team return to Canada, to a city whose fans were punished when a local owner wouldn’t or couldn’t purchase the team. Winnipeg deserves the return of an NHL team. Which team will be next?

The more that comes out surrounding the Ohio State violations, the less surprising it is.

It isn’t surprising that the Cartel, er, I mean NCAA wanted to ignore it during bowl season, allowing the players that violated the rules to get punished this season rather than suspended in their bowl game. Afterall, the NCAA doesn’t actually care about the student athlete, only money.

It isn’t surprising that the signature vest wearing Tressel knew more than what came out back in December. Similarly, it isn’t surprising that the school is more than willing to put all the blame on the Director of Compliance, Doug Archie, despite praising him endlessly up until the moment they were caught.

It isn’t surprising that Small squealed on his former teammates, and is now retracting it. Being kicked out of the “sacred brotherhood” can’t be fun, too bad he was dumb enough to allow his interview to be taped.

At this point, the NCAA should have no other choice than to pursue severe sanctions, a la USC, and consider finding that OSU demonstrated a lack of institutional control. A charge that they had no problems placing on Boise State, when the school self reported women’s tennis team violations. However, Boise State isn’t in the same league as OSU, and following in it’s tradition on financially driven decisions, it will not risk OSU and USC both playing meaningless seasons at relatively the same time.

But really, despite the double standard, that won’t be surprising either.

Fill in the Blank

_________ are to the Cubs as goalies are to the Flyers.

Closers, the answer is closers – both teams refuse to spend money on such a key position and lose games because of it.

Discuss

Can I tell you how happy I am that the NFL is insisting on HGH testing in the new CBA? As I wrote a long long time ago “why bother banning substances such as H.G.H. when it isn’t even tested for by the major sports leagues?”

I commend the NFL for being the first of the major leagues to make this step forward, and although it has to be agreed to by the players it’s a sign that the league is serious about doping violations. The players are going to balk – after all, it doesn’t matter the league, they almost always seem to. But, as I’ve said before – a Player’s Union has a fiduciary duty to the players who are not doping. It is in the best interest of the majority (those who do not cheat) to identify those in the minority (those who are cheating). Granted, that is when there is a union.

Even if tests for HGH aren’t perfect right now, it’s something that needs to be done for the integrity of the game. I hope the players understand that and will agree to HGH testing in the new CBA, after the antitrust lawsuit is sorted out by the courts of course.

I’m Back, Baby!

It’s been a while, I know. I have neglected personal blogging (tweeting and facebooking) because that is my full time job. I have found myself writing things I would have posted under my personal account , because they are relevant and make a corporate account personal and relateable. I’ve gotten to manage (Exploring My America), develop and execute (Tire Pressure Challenge, Yelp test) some pretty cool things, as well as attend some pretty cool events (Media Days at the Chicago Auto Show).

But what brought me back today was getting to play off something I love, sports (duh!), for work. So, I invite you to check out the Car Part Bracket Finals, maybe you’ll get as much of a kick out of it as I did.

And, I will be coming back here more often. After all, with all this NFL Labor talk, how could I not!

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