The worst month for sports

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February is the absolute worst. Football season is over, as much as the executives at ESPN try to convince us otherwise. Spring Training is underway and although people claim ‘baseball is here” it’s still hard for me to get excited when St. Louis still has a few inches of snow sitting on the ground. On Thursday the St. Louis metro area was basically shut down due to snow. While I was trapped indoors for the better part of two days, it made me realize that this is my least favorite time of year on the sports calendar.

Baseball is, has, and always will be my favorite sport. I cannot wait until baseball season starts so this time of year is torture. While I am the cold of St. Louis and my view the last few days has been the picture above, the players are being shown on TV playing catch under the Florida sun. The cold weather and snow leave me very hungry for some warm weather and baseball. Watching the players in Spring Training play catch is nothing but a tease to me. I compare it to someone putting a thick, juicy steak in front of me on the dinner table and telling me that I have to wait an hour until I can eat it, even though it is sitting there right in front of me. It’s gotten to the point that it’s hard for me to watch Spring Training coverage on TV. The bad thing is, there really isn’t anything to distract me from it right now.

The St. Louis Blues have a decent distraction but I am not a huge hockey fan. I have always been a Blues fan, but their games aren’t what I would call “must see tv” until the postseason begins. We don’t have an NBA team here in “the Lou” so I have never really been a fan of the NBA game. I really don’t pay much attention to the NBA until the Conference Finals. I love NCAA Basketball but at this point of the season it’s just building toward the best month in sports. The NCAA Tournament is what begins to get me over winter, and looking forward to baseball season.

My winter blues start going away whenever the NCAA Conference Tournaments begin. It the bigger conferences these tournaments many times don’t matter to many teams except for seeding purposes. The beauty to me lies in the smaller conference tournaments where teams are fighting for their only shot at getting into “the dance.” We have a good conference tournament locally. The Missouri Valley Conference tournament, called “Arch Madness”, takes place in St. Louis and it is one of those tournaments. The Valley usually only gets one team, sometimes two, into the NCAA tournament. Selection Sunday is one of those things that I would consider “must see tv.” Those first four days of the tournament are like Christmas for me, the 2nd weekend is like New Years Eve. The NCAA Tournament also makes it ok for me to follow Spring Training because that’s when I can feel baseball coming.

I am sick of the winter. I am ready for spring.

Back in the swing

After ten plus days of technically difficulties with my laptop, I am back. I guess if there were a good time for this to happen to me, it would be during the slowest part of the sports calendar. There have been some noteworthy stories in that time however that I will be sure to touch on at some point. Stories like the newest PED scandal in Major League Baseball, and the possibility that Chris Carpenter may have thrown his last pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals. Also, a belated happy birthday to Michael Jordan.

The upcoming weeks are an exciting time to be a sports fan. Baseball teams are starting to gear things up under the Florida sun while we wait patiently in the cold for baseball and the warm weather to return home. College Basketball is winding down the conference season gearing up for Championship Week to decide the conference champions. Then the best playoff system in sports takes place, March Madness. I love when the tourney starts knowing it builds to a crescendo until it ends and turns things over to baseball season. Looking very forward to March!

New Musial T-Shirt

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A co-worker of mine found this on pinterest so I had to order one. This shirt is perfection. A salute to “The Man” and a swipe at Albert. Best of both worlds.

 

When an irresistible force (Umpire Ron Luciano) met a reprovable, and removable object (Manager Earl Weaver)

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1125274/1/index.htm

Great find in the Sports Illustrated vault. With the recent passing of Earl Weaver I couldn’t help but remember all of the stories that I had heard about his famous run ins with umpires. Many years ago I read Ron Luciano’s books: The Umpire Strikes Back, and Strike Two. I was looking for those books recently when I stumbled across this terrific article. This is worth the time it takes to read it. This makes me really want to read those books again.

Clinic records suggest Alex Rodriguez purchased HGH as recently as 2012; other players named | HardballTalk

Clinic records suggest Alex Rodriguez purchased HGH as recently as 2012; other players named | HardballTalk.

I would say that this is a “bombshell”, but it anything really a bombshell anymore when it comes to PED’s? It’s still just as it has always been. The users are still staying one step ahead of the testers. As long as they are able to, players will cheat to gain an advantage. If Larry “Bud” Selig was really serious about cleaning up the game, the penalties would be much stiffer. It’s about risk/reward. Players are not afraid of getting caught because the suspensions aren’t very severe. If a player has an opportunity to maximize their earnings, and make an extra $10-$15 by cheating and the risk is being suspended for 50 games the player is more likely to cheat. If that same player has to risk a lifetime ban for taking PED’s, I think they would think long and hard about that before subjecting themselves to doping.

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