Results tagged ‘ ESPN ’

One Voice I’ll Miss (And One Not So Much…)

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I heard the other day that these two guys (Jon Miller and Joe Morgan) will no longer be calling games together on ESPN.

I’ll miss Jon Miller.  He didn’t have the greatest insights into the game, but his voice was both pleasant and exciting to listen to.  Here’s an example:

 

On the other hand, Joe Morgan (a star from the Cincinnati Big Red Machine long ago) was one of the most knowledgeable baseball guys I’ve ever heard behind a mic. Trouble was, he was too arrogant to really be likeable on-air, radiating a brusque manner that undermined his tremendous knowledge.

 

The Machine

Ichiro.jpgOn the ESPN commercials, Albert Pujols is depicted as being a “machine”…

However, with due respect to Phat Albert, I consider Ichiro Suzuki to be more machine-like.  Just last week, Ichiro recorded his tenth consecutive season of 200+ hits, tying him with Pete Rose and putting him ahead of one Tyrus Raymond Cobb.

If Ichiro were to retire after this seasons, I would vote him into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.  Even though he’s only been around in the American game for 10 years, he’s done enough to ensure a place in Cooperstown.  I’ve enjoyed watching him play every year since 2001, and I think he really gave baseball a shot in the arm with his exciting play after a bogged-down steroids era of waiting for the three-run homer.

It Could Be Worse…At Least We Aren’t Cleveland

Last night, the Twins got pounded by the Blue Jays…plain and simple:

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They homered us right out of their stadium, beating up on Scott Baker in the process.  Besides a solo shot from Michael Cuddyer, we couldn’t do squat against their pitchers and ended up in third place in the standings because of it.

However, as I lamented that fact, I happened to flip over to Lebron James TV (oh, sorry, aka ESPN) to hear “The Big Decision”.  After hearing the outcome (James to the Heat), I’m just glad I’m not a sports fan in Cleveland.  Consider:

lebron-james3.jpg The Cavaliers just lost (arguably) the best player in the NBA and, despite what their owner says, will likely not win a championship before he does.  I don’t follow professional basketball closely enough to say that with impunity, but without King James they will be a worse team…plain and simple.

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The Browns are just as exciting as their pure orange logo, having one decent season (which only proved to be a few lucky passes from Derek Anderson to Braylon Edwards) since their franchise resurrection in the 1990s.

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The saddest case, though, is probably that of the Cleveland Indians.  Three seasons ago, they were on the verge of a World Series berth, what with CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee in the rotation and Travis Hafner looking like the natural version of Mark McGwire.  Now, they are battling the KC Royals for the AL Central cellar.

So, perhaps I should just be thankful for a competitive ballclub…although I still want an SP and a closer!

Preview (45-40, 3rd, 1.5 GB CWS): Francisco Liriano (6-6, 3.32) vs. Justin Verlander (10-5, 3.85). Ace vs. Ace.  Never has a team needed the All-Star break more than the Twins do right now, but they need to keep the fire burning for three more crucial division games.

Laying Down The LAW(rie)

Lawrie.jpgAlthough I did enjoy watching the Twins hold the lead against the Indians last night, the premiere baseball excitement came from the Women’s College Softball World Series Championship on ESPN.

My Dad got me into watching the games a few days ago, and they really are very exciting.  One playoff game was decided by a walk-off grand slam, while another came down to a freshman (Jazlyn Lunceford) pinch hitting for a senior and team captain (Brittany Rogers) and hitting a granny!

However, the entire tournament was really dominated by Washington Huskie pitcher Danielle Lawrie.  She was the PAC-10 player of the year in 2009 and, at least during the playoffs, pitched every inning of every game (one going 15 innings!) for her team.  Although she had a few off innings, most times she was absolutely unhittable.  During the final game, where the Florida Gators needed to beat WASH to force a deciding game three, Lawrie and her Huskies were clinging to a slight 3-2 and Lawrie was struggling.  Once the fifth inning dawned, though, Lawrie came out to the mound with a look of determination that I don’t think I have ever seen from a baseball player of any kind, major leagues or otherwise.  From that point on she completely dominated the Gators’ bats and, pretty obviously, was named MVP of the World Series.

The amazing thing is, Lawrie is just a junior, so you can bet that she will have the Huskies back in the hunt next year as well.  I will be watching!

Twins Preview (26-27, 2nd, 3.5 GB DET): Cliff Lee (2-6, 3.16) vs. Anthony Swarzak (1-1, 2.08).  As beat up as the Indians are right now, I have to give Swarzak the nod in this one.  Of course, Lee could always (as a southpaw) pull a complete game shutout out of his hat against our bats.

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