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Archive for August, 2012|Monthly archive page

The Weekly Six-Pack, Aug. 2

In Baseball, Football, Hockey on August 2, 2012 at 10:47 pm
Today’s post starts off with a couple of different things. First, we are welcoming a new member to the site as a contributer in my good friend Kevin Pomazal. He’s a  die-hard Flyers, Packers and Cubs fan, which could be enough for everyone to hate him off the bat (he won’t care if you do anyway). The two of us are going to attempt to post some of our discussions regarding whatever the hell we come up with. So it could be anything from hockey to music, which is perfect and hopefully entertaining to you.
Yes I know, his initials don’t fit in to the title of the website. Our other site contributer isn’t able to post anything due to his job. Totally understandable. A paying gig is more important than a blog that’s supposed to be recreational. But fear not Dylan, just like Nearl Crews said, “Your legacy is in tact.”
And for the one person reading this that’s a Frisky Dingo fan, you’re welcome for that reference.
Second, I have to give a big shout out to my buddy Kyle Schassburger for his new gig as studio host for IMG sports, covering Kent State football and Michigan hockey. Bro, you stuck with the broadcasting gig and you’ve earned this. You’ve come a long way from the kid that co-hosted a sports talk show with me in college as a freshman. Now if ya make it big and can get tickets to a big event, don’t be afraid to hook a brother up.
All right, the sappy stuff is out of the way. Let’s do this.
Atlantic Division Announces its Supremacy
Last week, I covered the acquisition of Rick Nash by the Rangers, giving them the high-scoring forward the team needs to add more offense for a team that struggled in the playoffs scoring. With the addition, it gives the division three teams that are the three best teams in the East and each could be playing for the Stanley Cup this coming year in Pittsburgh, the Rangers and Philadelphia. Oh yeah, they also boast a Devils team fresh off a trip to the Cup Finals and an Islanders team that should be much better this year than last. Granted, I’ve been saying this about the Isles for the last few years, and they’ve sucked.  So take that for what it’s worth.
But the top three teams should be competing for the Cup this next year, although each have a weakness. The Flyers still have Ilya Bryzgalov in net and the uncertainty of Chris Pronger’s future to worry about. Pittsburgh lacks depth on the wing and in young forwards. The Rangers have to worry about whether or not they can score enough with Marian Gaborik out with shoulder surgery.
Despite the slight weaknesses, each team is going to be just fine in the regular season. The Flyers and Penguins can light up the scoreboard with what might be the three best centers in the world today (Crosby, Malkin and Giroux), and the Rangers are a defensive juggernaut that are always in games because of their back end.
So take no offense with the weaknesses listed people. One of your teams should represent the East come next June in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Patrick Kane, Professional Lightning Rod for Bad Behavior
Yes, I know this is dated. It’s a slow time for sports news, so I’m pulling for stuff. To say Patrick Kane’s offseasons have been loaded with controversy in the last few years is a bit of an understatement. I don’t need to go over what he’s done in the past, but this year’s incident at a party in Madison, Wisconsin seemed to be a little different as far as a level of offense. As opposed to the Buffalo cab incident, one that he was way out of line for, I was actually amused by this news as opposed to the past.
Keep in mind, Kane is 23 years old. I would like to say that I was straight-laced when I was that age, but that would be a lie. Add in the fact that he just came off a tough season and another early playoff exit where he didn’t live up to his talent level. I understand if something like that happens, someone of that stature is expected to be pissed and hard at work to get ready for the next season.
At the same time, a chance to cut loose should be earned by someone that’s busting their chops for 11 months of the year in an extremely demanding sport. Sure, he may have acted like a total bag (based on the articles I’ve read) and fell victim to some pictures that leaked on social media sights. It’s 2012, that kind of thing happens to everyone. But I’m not going to get as wrapped up in this as others have. Nor do I think you should.
NHL Dress Code Needs to Change Again
Now you KNOW it’s a slow time when I’m busting out the old debate of home colors vs. home whites as far as jerseys go. To make it even worse, this came to me as I was playing NHL 12. My original idea for this came when I scored against Dallas, who was wearing their black jerseys, by scoring on the goalie that was screened by his own defenseman. How obviously, it’s difficult to see through a human. I get that. But it got me thinking how much tougher it might be for a goalie if he’s trying to pick up a puck and someone’s loose jersey gets in the way for a team wearing black.
Nine teams in the league have a black sweater, and the only two I’m all right with seeing that are the Kings and the Suc- I mean Ducks. Dallas’ bother me the most because I liked their old green sweaters, and their current home selection is just boring. Had to be the last design the Reebok guys put together and they must have been on their 15th pot of coffee when doing so. Get rid of them or at least make them a little more vibrant. Watching a Dallas/LA game in Dallas must be like watching it on a TV that required you to get up to change the channel. Make it stop.
On the flip side, I’m all for bringing back the home white jerseys. It gives the home fans a chance to see different colors each night and to be honest, it just feels right. Seeing the Leafs, Red Wings, Blackhawks etc. in their barn wearing their classic white sweaters is a beautiful thing. And I’ve missed it ever since the change started back in 2003. I can only hope this changes down the line.
Cubs Trade Deadline Finally Brings in New Blood
So the trade deadline is gone and the Cubs did what I expected in unloading some of their current roster players to contenders. We all knew it was coming, but I can’t help but feel a little let down. Yes, they got some nice pieces that could make an impact in the bullpen down the road. But having Ryan Dempster block a trade to the Braves for one of their top prospects was a bummer. But I’m a firm believer in what Theo Epstien is doing with this team. Yes, the team is going to be bad for the rest of this year and probably the next few. But it’s not like it wasn’t expected and for anyone that was heartbroken and upset about the deals for Dempster, Geovany Soto, Reed Johnson and Paul Maholm, keep in mind what the ultimate goal is. A great breakdown of the players the Cubs got in return was posted by my good friend Chad Ruter and can be found here. It’s worth a read from one of the smartest sports fans I’ve ever come in contact with.
ESPN and Pop Radio Might as well be One in the Same
I can’t take it anymore. I used to be able to sit down and enjoy the hour I would spend each night getting caught up on the day’s news by watching SportsCenter. But watching it now makes me want to shove knitting needles in my eyes. I understand that the job for television execs is to get more viewers to their brand to make more money. But listen, ESPN, devoting 45 minutes of a telecast to the New York Jets camp and Tim Tebow coverage is insanity. And if it’s not about that, then it’s all about Peyton Manning and the Broncos or Michael Phelps and Ryan Locthe. Sure, the occasional baseball coverage will get mixed in, but once the NBA season ended, all the focus shifted to the NFL. Which, keep in mind, is something that doesn’t start for almost two more months. It’s like turning on the radio and knowing what you’re going to hear each and every day. The New York Jets might as well be sports current version of “Call Me Maybe.”
The point is, feel free to mix in something else. The product may just be more interesting to someone that’s wants to know about how their team is doing in the baseball playoff race. Or if you want to stick with the NFL, how about focusing on some of the other 30 teams and how their training camps are going?
Now I’m done. I’ll jump off my soapbox, but keep it close by just in case.
Umpire in Florida Loses his Mind
If any of you have ever been an umpire at any level of baseball or softball, you know that it’s a thankless job and players, coaches and fans will take any chance to let you know how bad of a job you’re doing. It develops character and thick skin for most people that put on the mask. But what happened in Daytona last night during a Daytona Cubs has officially blown my mind when it comes to an umpire that needs to quit taking himself so seriously.
In case you missed it, the full information on the incident is here. The umpire tossed the Cubs’ music guy for playing “Three Blind Mice” after a blown call. How an umpire can toss someone in the crowd, let alone the press box, is beyond me. Especially if there’s no profanity involved.
My point is that this guy needs to take a step back and realize that it’s all in good fun. Any umpire that makes the game about himself so that we know his name is in the job for the wrong reason.
That’s all for this week’s session. Hopefully something interesting in the hockey world happens between now and next week so I’m not talking about the jersey situation again.
Until then.