Monthly Archives: April 2012

Throwback Saturday Part XIV

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Last year at this time, it appeared Troy Tulowitzki (pictured above) was in for a monster season. It didn't happen. This year, he is off to an awful start. What will be the result?

By Josh Kramer

Welcome to the 14th edition of “Throwback Saturdays.”  This is a day to look back and reflect.  A day to see just how wrong or how right I was with my analysis and projections.  What was happening on April 21, 2011?  How about April 21, 2010?  Let’s find out.

One year ago..

Don’t Be Blinded by the Hype

Here is a snippet..

Many guys look to be on their way to career seasons.  There are two in particular that really stand out to me that are worth being noted.

1.  Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Rockies:

Troy Tulowitzki, the fifth year shortstop for the Colorado Rockies appears to be on his way to an MVP caliber season.  Granted there are still over five months to play, but it is safe to say that this guy has begun to really realize his potential.  Currently Tulo, as many call the Colorado shortstop, is batting .343, has 7 HRs, and 14 RBIs.  This places him at 12th in the NL in batting average, 1st in HRs, and 4th in RBIs.  Not to mention the guy has been throwing some serious leather at shortstop.  Many have felt this guy was destined to be a perennial All Star that could bring home an MVP Award at some point.  Well that time appears to be now.  Keep an eye on the Rockie’s star, who currently has led his squad to the best record in all of baseball up to this point.

2.  Howie Kendrick, 2B, Angels

Kendrick is another fifth year player like Tulowitzki who has had a lot of hype up until this point in his career.  Many have expected big things, and the guy has yet to really consistently deliver over the course of an entire season.  Well this year, the inconsistency and growing pains appear to have come to a close.  Currently, the Angel’s 2B is batting .288, has 5 HRs, and 8 RBIs.  Kendrick has never hit more than 10 HRS or drove in more than 75 RBIs during a season up to this point in his career.  He is on pace to end up with 45 HRs this year.  Keep a close eye on Kendrick, who looks to be on his way to the first monster season of his career (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

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It’s Melo Time

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Carmelo Anthony (pictured above) is playing is best basketball as of late. It has become "Melo Time" in New York.

By Josh Kramer

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. New York Knicks basketball relived the glory days of the early 1970s during the 1990s.  The best was when they made the NBA Finals in both 1994 and 1999.  The worst times for the Knicks during the 1990s were declared “Miller Time.”  Now this had nothing to do with Miller High Life.  It dealt with the villain, Reggie Miller, stealing games away from the New York Knicks during the postseason.  With Miller in the broadcast booth these days, the thought of “Miller Time” has been extinct for nearly a decade.

There is a new time now in New York.  And this one has a much happier ring than “Miller Time.”  No it is not “Linsanity,” though that is joyous occasion for Knicks fans as well.  It is the recent emergence of “Melo Time.” Continue reading

Summitt reached the summit

Photo courtesy of abcnews.go.com. Pat Summitt (pictured above) is retiring after 38 years at Tennessee. She truly reached the summit of her profession.

By Josh Kramer

Summit:  The highest attainable level of achievement (courtesy of dictionary.com).

Not too many people in this world can say that they reached the summit of their chosen field.  That they could climb no higher.  That all goals and aspirations had been achieved in regards to their industry.  The same goes for sports.  Out of millions of athletes and coaches, only a handful can truly say that they reached the “summit”of their sport.

John Wooden, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky Continue reading

South Bend Jinx?

Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com. If recent history in South Bend is any indication, Brian Kelly (pictured above) may get red in the face early and often this year.

By Josh Kramer

When people think of College Football, Notre Dame instantly comes to mind.  Despite not winning a national title since 1988, Notre Dame is still one of the blue bloods of College Football.  Every one of their games are nationally televised by NBC putting them in the public spotlight each and every Saturday.

The Fighting Irish are set to enter the third year of the Brian Kelly era.  Kelly was supposed to be the man to bring Notre Dame football back to the glory days.  He was the guy that was supposed to bring number 12 to South Bend (National Championship).  Luckily for the Irish faithful, Kelly has a history of getting the job done in year number three.  At Grand Valley State he went a very respectable 6-2-2.  Then at Central Michigan, he took home a MAC Championship.  And finally at Cincinnati, he led the Bearcats to their first Big East Football Championship and an appearance in the Orange Bowl.  With a past like that, it is safe to say that Brian Kelly knows a little something about winning.  Many have proclaimed the guy a miracle worker.   I like to think of him as one of the best offensive minds in football. But it appears recent history will be against the Fighting Irish Head Coach as he prepares his troops for the annual Blue-Gold Game on Saturday.  Could their be a year three jinx in South Bend?  The three Fighting Irish coaches that preceded Brian Kelly may have something to say in regards to the potential South Bend curse in year number three. Continue reading

Food for Thought 4-17-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Matt Kemp (pictured above) is playing out of this world right now. He has been the "Magic" that has the Dodgers sitting atop the baseball world.

By Josh Kramer

“Magic”  in LA?

No athlete has meant more to his or her respective city than Magic Johnson.  Ten games into the 2012 MLB season, it appears “Magic” has struck again in Los Angeles.  No team is playing better baseball than the Los Angeles Dodgers at the moment.  Yes, the same team that the villainous Frank McCourt owned until recently.  What is the difference between the 2011 and the 2012 edition of the Los Angeles Dodgers?

Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

After the days of Bill Russell and before the days of “His Airness,” there was Magic Johnson.  Magic and the Lakers were synonymous with the word “Winning” in the 1980s.  Though it is still very early, it seems that the new ownership has revived the winning mentality in a once very proud Dodgers organization.

Okay, I realize this is totally a stretch.  Magic and his partners bought the troubled franchise for around two billion dollars on March 27th.  There is no way they could have done much to completely transform this team into one of the MLB’s elite in just a few weeks.  I believe in the power of pep talks.  But ownership has to make baseball moves as well to lead a franchise to greatness.  Magic and Co. have not really had an opportunity to make any baseball moves.  The real “Magic” lies in the play of star center fielder Matt Kemp. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 4-16-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Rafael Nadal (pictured above) took home the title in Monaco last year. He hopes to repeat this week.

By Josh Kramer

Welcome to mid-April.  NHL Playoff action is in full swing.  The NBA regular season is wrapping up.  And the MLB is part of the daily sports routine.  There is so much going on in the sporting world.  I hope you enjoyed the last week.  This week will be a good one in its own right though.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Let’s go to Monaco.  We all wish right?  Well the ATP is heading to Monaco for the 106th edition of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.  And though this is a non-mandatory event for the tour’s top players, the majority of the world’s elite will be there.   This includes Rafael Nadal, who would love to defend his title in Monaco. Things in the tennis world are ready to heat up as players prep for the year’s second Grand Slam in Paris (French Open).  Make sure to keep an eye on this always highly competitive and entertaining event. Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part XIII

Photo courtesy of cleveland.com. A year ago, Kobe Bryant (pictured above) was not a happy camper for a number of reasons. Will things brighten up this Spring for the LA superstar?

By Josh Kramer

Lucky number thirteen.  Over three months later and “Throwback Saturdays” are still going strong.  What was happening on April 14, 2011?  How about on April 14, 2012?  Let’s find out.

One year ago..

A Rough Go for Kobe

Here is a snippet..

The past couple of days have been an absolute whirlwind for Lakers superstar, Kobe Bryant.  First, a key piece of the Lakers championship puzzle, Andrew Bynum, goes down with yet another knee injury.  Then, later in the game, Kobe picks up a technical foul. But the technical was not out of the ordinary for Bryant, who is 2nd in the League this year in technical fouls to Superman himself, Dwight Howard.

Bryant frequently argues with referees and actually has ranked in the top ten in the League for technical fouls each of the past six seasons. I do not like when guys jabber at opposing players or whine to  the referees.  But I do respect Bryant’s drive and his ability to “Refuse to Lose.”  He is emotional.  The man just hates losing.  It is a trait that Michael Jordan had.  It is a trait that Tiger Woods had.  Losing is not something that any of these guys ever seem to think is possible.  So they each have had their fair share of temper tantrums over the years.  And do not think for a second that guys like Jordan did not cry to the refs or that the other stars in today’s game remain mum towards the referees.  It just isn’t true.  Stars complain.  And they complain frequently.

But in the San Antonio game, Kobe made a big time mistake to go along with his technical foul.  He appears to have directed an offensive gay slur towards the referee.  Cursing is one thing.  When racist, religious, or gay slurs get brought into the game, it takes things to another level.  Kobe crossed the line (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading