Archive | April, 2014

Great Sports in Texas, the Lone Star State

24 Apr

http://espn.go.com/mlb/standings

Hi today Id like to give a shout out to some of my friends and neighbors who live in Texas where I have resided since 2000, and talk about a few of the Texas sports teams.

While not my favorite baseball team I have always liked the Texas Rangers probably third behind the Milwaukee Brewers and Boston Red Sox my two favorite teams. I was really happy for the Rangers when they made the World Series in 2010 and the St Louis Cardinals in 2011, but very disappointed when they lost to the Giants in 5 games in 2010 and the loss to the Cardinals in 2011 was especially tough in seven games.

The Rangers were one strike away from victory a couple times and then a ball was hit just out of the reach of then Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz which would have given them the championship. Of course a game winning homer by the Cardinals David Freese and another victory in Game 7 gave the Cardinals the world championship and broke Rangers fans hearts.

But I have been real proud of the Rangers who have played in the playoffs or a play in game the last 4 seasons.

And after a sweep of division rival Oakland this week the Rangers are back in first place in the AL West by a half game with a 14-8 record over the 13-8 Oakland A’s who have won the AL West over the Rangers the last couple years. The Rangers have struggled with some pitching issues and injuries early this season. But some new pickups in the off season, Prince Fielder who I know well from his days with the Brewers, Michael Choice who came over from the As and Sin Soo Choo who came over from the Reds have been big bats leading to the Rangers success. And the return of third baseman Adrian Beltre and pitcher Matt Harrison will continue to keep the Rangers in strong contention until players return from injury or they pick up even more help possibly towards the trading deadline at the end of July.

But it will be a fun season and I expect to see the Rangers stay in contention and I wish them well most of the time unless they play the Brewers or Red Sox.

Meanwhile the eigth seeded Dallas Stars are playing really well tied 2-2 against the Anaheim Ducks who are seeded 1St and won the Presidents trophy for the best record in the National Hockey League this season. The Stars lost the first two games in Anaheim by one goal each and won the last wo games 3-0 and 4-2. It should be exciting as the teams return to Anaheim for Game 5 Friday Night, Game 6 Sunday in Dallas and a possible Game 7 in Anaheim next Tuesday. Go Stars.

Meanwhile the Dallas Mavericks who are also seeded eighth in the NBA Western Conference are playing the San Antonio Spurs my favorite team who is also seeded 1st in the West and has the NBA’s best record. The Spurs and Mavericks are tied 1-1 in their playoff series after the first two games in San Antonio. The Spurs won Game 1 90-85 and the Mavericks came back to blow out the Spurs 113-92 in Game 2. But as the series returns to San Antonio I expect a competitive series between the two Texas state and division rivals . The Spurs have four NBA Titles (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007) and lost the seventh game in tough fashion to the Miami Heat last year. The Dallas Mavericks won their only NBA title in 2011 also beating the Heat in 6 games. Whatever the result it should be a great and competive series the rest of the way, but I say Go Spurs! Even though I respect the Mavericks too.

Meanwhile it’s the off season for the Dallas Cowboys, the Houston Texans and all the Texas college and high school football teams. But soon in May it will be the NFL draft and in late August/early September another football season will begin. And while Im not a fan of any particular team in this state, I do appreciate the passion of the football fans here and enjoy the excitement of the football season, both here and beyond.

So best wishes and enjoy the games and I want to give a special shout out to all my Texas sports fans, friends and neighbors. You know who you are and this is especially for you in my adopted home of Texas, the great Lone Star State.

2014 Baseball Checkup 2 1/2 Weeks into the Season

17 Apr

Well we are a couple weeks into the baseball season and I thought I would check where some of my favorite teams, yours and others are in the baseball season so far. It isn’t September or October but we can see some early season surprises, who’s playing well and who isn’t factors that may or may not play out down the road. So here’s a look at the early season standings with a link from espn.com.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/standings

Concentrating on the teams I like best, its my blog  The Milwaukee Brewers are a pleasant surprise in the early season with an 11-4 record in the NL Central. They are currently 2 games ahead of the St Louis Cardinals the defending NL Central and National League Champions. The Brewers won a big game Wednesday afternoon 5-1 against the Cardinals to salvage 1 game in the three game series against the Cardinals. It helped the Brewers to keep the division lead and gave them some much needed confidence against their successful rival the Cardinals. But the Brewers are playing better anyway and we’ll see what happens. The Cardinals suffered a tough loss on and off the field when their starting pitcher Joe Kelly limped up to first base with some ligament issues that will put him on the disabled list for 15 days at least. Hopefully he will recover quickly. And the Brewers after having their 9 game winning streak stopped with two losses to the Cardinals in the first two games are back on the winning track and headed to Pittsburgh for a four game series with the Pirates who they swept last wqeekend in Milwaukee.

Meanwhile down on the South Side of Chicago the Boston Red Sox are playing a cold series against the Chicago White Sox. After losing in the ninth inning on Tuesday night, the Red Sox came back to win the game Wednesday night 6-4 in 14 innings. The defending World Series Champion Red Sox are currently 6-9 and three games behind the 9-6 Yankees heading into Thursday night’s series finale against the Whitesox, before heading back to Boston to play the Baltimore Orioles in a four game series over the weekend. The Red Sox are struggling some and first baseman Mike Napoli sustained a thumb injury in Tuesday night’s game. Hopefully he wont be out too long either. But it is tough to repeat as champions which the Red Sox have only done once in their history 1915-1916 so you get the picture. But the three most recent World Series Championships 2004, 2007 and 2013 look very nice. And the Red Sox have a combined record of 12-2 in those three World Series.

Finally the Texas Rangers who I follow as a third team living in Texas are 8-7 and traing the Oakland A’s who have won the AL West division the last two years by 2 games. The Rangers have had a lot of pitching problems and injuries. But they are finding a way to hang in the race winning some close games and working through a make shift pitching rotation until injuries heal or if they pick up a pitcher in a trade later this summer. So we’ll see what happens for a team that acquired Prince Fielder and Michael Choice to go along with Adrian Beltre and a fairly solid Rangers hitting lineup. So we’ll see what happens and have a Happy and Safe Easter weekend whatever you do and best wishes.
Also I’ll be watching the Stanley Cup Hockey Playoffs and the NBA Playoffs as my favorite team the San Antonio Spurs has the best record in the league and homecourt throughout the playoffs as they try to take that last step after losing a tough seven game series to the 2 time champion Miami Heat in the NBA Finals last year. Go Spurs and Take Care!

Milwaukee Brewers: Off to a Great start in 2014

11 Apr

The Milwaukee Brewers are off to a terrific start in the baseball season this year. They are currently 7-2. They have just swept 2 road series from the Philadelphia Phillies and the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox for a 6-0 road trip.
And they return home tonight leading the NL Central early in the season at 7-2 to play the Pittsburgh Pirates currently in second place at 6-3 which should be a great early season series against the Pirates who made the playoffs last year.
Following that series the Brewers will play the St Louis Cardinals who are currently 5-4 and the defending National League champions.

So what is happening with theBrewers success? A little of everything. According to Brewers Manager “A little of everything” Adam McCalvy MLB.com

The pitching has been great as Milwaukee starting pitchers have not surrendered more than 3 runs in an individual start. And Brewer relievers haven’t allowed more than one earned run in 21 2/3 innings for a Major League best 0.98 era. Marco Estrada allowed only two runs in a six inning performance Thursday night against the Phillies. MLB.com statistics.

And the Brewers are hitting the ball quite well. Ryan Braun came to Philadelphia with all the boos from his HGH use and lying and hit three home runs in the first game there.. While we cant forget what he did or said, if he is clean his performance and natural talent is impressive and backs up his 2011 NL MVP. Other big hitters include Aramis Ramirez, Khris Davis, Jonathon Lucroy and Carlos Gomez..

So it is a team effort and the Brewers 2 losses weren’t that bad losing 5-2 an1-0 to the Braves last week. In fact other than a 7-6 win over the Red Sox last Saturday, the Brewers have given up 4 or less runs in 7 of their 9 games.

So we’ll see what happens going forward, and it’s only April. But the Brewers are playing very well and off to a hot start in the NL Central. Go Brewers!