Monthly Archives: October 2013

Smallball

I would like to go “off-topic” in this post to talk about this website I have known about for the past 10 years and have used for the past 5 years. It is called www.smallball.com . This site allows you to train your own baseball or soccer team and then play them in simulated games.

This game is good for the player who does not want to play a whole bunch of games or rely on your own keyboard skills.

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McCarthy’s play calling leaves many questions

During the Green Bay Packers 22-9 victory over the Detroit Lions, there was something that was that bothered me, it was not the great play by the special teams, it was not the defense and it was not even the offensive players. It was the offensive play calling.

Overall, I thought the player played a good game, but Mike McCarthy leaves me wondering what runs through his head with the play calling especially in short yardage situations. There were two key moments that stuck out to me, the third drive of the game during the 3rd & 1 with a roll out pass. situation which was made worse by the fact we had to burn a timeout just before the play. The second was at the end of the game, in which we were trying to run out the clock, we had been using Lacy to run the ball, but then we decide to just take a knee? Take a knee with Detroit having a timeout remaining. How… Why? Give yourself a chance to get the first down, which improbable, but not impossible.

These two situations along with a lackluster passing game today show that Mike McCarthy’s offensive game play has passed its prime and it is time for someone else to be calling the plays. We were able to pull the game out today, but against the better teams down the road, we will most likely not come out on top. It has not worked already this year against the 49ers and Bengals.

McCarthy needs to relinquish the play card, he is unable to make the right calls at the right times. We need someone who will provide a scheme that will test the opposing defenses, but also will make the simple calls at the simple times. The one and two yards situations are the simple times, this situation seems to bring out the worse in McCarthy with overcomplicated play calls when maybe a quarterback sneak will do.

I’m not a person who likes to wait until the other shoe to drop to make a change and neither should be the Packers. If this was a one off case, I would not have a problem, but this has been happening for the last 3 years. That is too long in my book. It is time for change with the play calling, the time is now, not when we are in the cellar, by then you are going to lose a lot more than just your play calling responsibilities, it will be your job!

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Dusty Baker another casualty

Friday brought another day where another MLB manager was fired when Dusty Baker was fired from the Cincinnati Reds. I know that I recently wrote a post talking about Dale Sveum being fired from the Cubs, Dusty Baker did posses almost all the skills that Dale did not, but was missing one minor aspect that you need. Rebound.

Over a 162 game season, there are ups and downs, but it is how you overcome the downs that makes you a great manager. It is the ability to stop a losing streak or to refocus the team after a unusual moment in the game. Dusty did not possess this.

Dusty did not have it in San Francisco, he could not calm down Cubs after the Bartman incident and he could not recover with the Reds. Someone will hire Dusty again, but whoever hires him better be really for the team to let little mistake or incidents get inside their head.

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USA Qualify for World Cup

It has been a dark road, it has been a long road, but it appears after the “Dos A Cero” game that soccer has arrived in the US. Nobody more than me is glad that it appears that soccer has finally come out of the shadows of a third tier sport and is gaining media attention.

Certain spots has accepted the sport as a first tier sport for many years (Seattle and Portland), but clearly with the national attention and filled stands that US soccer and the established leagues are now here to stay. With the prolonged run of qualifying for the World Cup has brought to the attention to many people that this game is no longer the punch line of jokes/

For some, soccer will always be hated especially for the baby boomers but who can fault them? They were raised in a era in which soccer was a “fourth tier” sport only played by kids until 7 or 8 when they switched to Football (American) or Baseball. The game was treated as a joke by the soccer federation and it showed on the field by not qualifying for the World Cup between 1950 and 1990. My dad is a classic example of this theory, to this day, he continue to mock the game when I have it on TV, he mocks me for getting up at 6:45am on most Saturdays to start watching the EPL games on NBC. My Dad and other people of his generation say that they do not understand the game and say that soccer is not a sport (but isn’t soccer just over-sized hockey?).

But for all the dislike of soccer for the people raised in the 40 years after the 1950 World Cup appearance, soccer has found it mark with the younger generation. While American Football is still the preferred sport, soccer has hit its mark and the attendance figures in MLS show it. With the upcoming investments coming from Dave Beckham and Manchester City/New York Yankees this further enhances this as the fifth sport.

It is said that “it takes years to win a customer, and seconds to lose one”, this saying no more than true with the MLS and the US men’s national team. The house has been set up perfectly with good media coverage, good teams, top players coming overseas to play here along with good fans. I hope that we do not screw this up because nobody will be more disappointed than me.

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Dale Sveum: Another incomplete MLB manager fired

No, that is not a typo in the title of this post, I did not mean incompetent, incomplete is a much more realistic term. On Monday, the Cubs fired Dale Sveum as manager with one year left on the contract. As a former Brewer player and coach, I have a little something to say about what went down in Chicago.

Dale Sveum was always a iffy choice to head up a major league baseball club. A major league manager needs to posses the ability to manager players on both side of the ball. Sveum never showed the ability to manage a pitching staff during any of the two seasons, but the warning signs were there for the Cubs even before the first interview.

Warning Sign #1: Former power player generally don’t make good managers

Players that generally have good careers with the potential for power do not do well as managers because they are unable to identify issues with players. Managers that seem to have played little or poorly have more time to watch otherĀ  players and identify mistakes and take the needed corrections. There is always the exception to the rule, but for every Joe Girardi there are many Charlie Manuel’s

Warning Sign #2: No Pitching coach experience

Sveum entered the Cubs job with no pitching experience, not even at a basic level. If you are that one sided in baseball, it is like getting hit with a 2X4 when you have to care about the other side of the ball.

Warning Sign #3: 2008 season

This should have been the biggest reason not to hire Sveum. After Ned Yost was fired near the end of the season Sveum was named the interim manager and continued the effort of Yost to mismanage the pitching and having to overusing C.C. Sabathia. This was a sign that he was unable to manager or turn around a pitching staff. This should have raised the red flag for all teams that Sveum could not manage both side of the game.

The Cubs did not heed warning sign #3 and made the two year mistake of allowing him to manage their team. Some guys are just not cut out to be Major League managers. If he wants another shot at managing a MLB team, he should go down to a “AA” or “AAA” team to manage, learn the ropes and if it works out, it works out. In this case, Dale Sveum will make a good hitting coach and that is what he should do.

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Josh Freeman over-hyped career over?

As reported on Sunday, Josh Freeman has played his last game in the Tampa area and maybe in the NFL. For me, this “I don’t care” attitude was something that does not surprise me about this quarterback.

This was a long time coming, Josh Freeman was not NFL caliber quarterback and should not have been in the NFL as long as he was. He lasted in the NFL as long as he did for the sheer fact that he beat the Green Bay Packers in his rookie season back in 2009. People started looking at him different and unfortunately viewed him as a real quarterback based on the caliber of defense that Green Bay was at the time.

But everybody has a bad day, it just was not Green Bay’s just happen to have one that day. Bad start after bad start, year after year were shadowed by the fact that “He beat the Packers back in 2009”. You can not rely on one game as the reason a quarterback should be propped up for this long. If there is no improvement by the end of the next season, get rid of the player.

The pressure and the limelight got to Freeman, he thought he was something because everybody in the media said he was something because of one game. Josh Freeman would have benefited by waiting a year or two like Aaron Rodgers, learn the ropes, learn how to handle himself in the NFL.

I’m guessing when he lost the captain role from the team was the end for him, when the other shoe was going to drop was just a matter of time. To spike that quick in the NFL at that age is just too much for most. Someone will most likely give him another shot at a backup most likely (because someone will remember that ’09 Packers game), but the damage is done.

In the end, this occurs more than it should in the NFL, every game is make or break. The media likes to proclaim the rise to stardom from just one game or sometimes from just one throw. It should not be this way, but once again another victim has been claimed in the form of Josh Freeman.

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‘Rush’ movie review (more like statment)

So what did I spend the Packers bye week doing? Going to a movie. I decided to go see the movie Rush from director Ron Howard.

I’m not going to get into the plot of the movie, that is what Wikipedia is for. Overall, I thought this was very good movie that does live up to its name. The acting is above average, but not award winning. The awards from this movie will come from the directing which was great in my perspective.

This movie was well worth the Matinee price I paid to get in.

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