Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

You Must Be “This Tall” to Dominate MLB: 12 Best Pitchers Under 6′0″

July 1st, 2010
How tall do you have to be to ride the rides at the ballpark? Being tall doesn't hurt, but it is certainly no requirement. The drawing to the left—which appears to be some big time Texas rancher, and the little latino boy he hired to help clear the brush—is actually a rendering of Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez, who each won back—to—back Cy Young Awards in 1999 and 2000. You could probably stand anyone next to Johnson's 6'11" frame and they would look small, but there is an entire foot of difference between Randy and Pedro's 5'11" frame. Unreal. But you know what? The short guy is the one who had the most dominating six year stretch of any major league pitcher ever. Was it enough to make him one of the 12 Best Pitchers Ever Under Six Feet Tall? Let's find out.

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Random Ramblings: Sister Hazel, World Cup, and Late Night Leaks

July 1st, 2010

Somehow I am going to try to tie-in Sister Hazel, the World Cup, and a story about a neighbor’s late night leak (and the maintenance man that came to fix it).

Let me begin with a band named Sister Hazel.

Every time a new Hazel album comes out, I honestly feel like a little kid at Christmas.

Seriously—just ask my wife.

They recently released a trio of songs on an EP entitled “Threeve” to tide over Hazelnuts until the band’s October 2010 new full length album.

Great freaking EP, by the way.

Go pick up their last few albums if you haven’t heard them in a while.

Hazel is like Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, the Beatles, and masterful music all mixed up in a giant bowl.

And if their new album is anything like their prior CDs, I have absolutely no doubt it will be another gold medal winner.

However, I digress.

I was watching World Cup action yesterday morning and afternoon (Central Time), while taking care of my eight-month-old son, and I can’t help but admit that I am falling in love with this every-four-years event.

It’s freaking awesome.

I know most people in America quit watching when the USA lost to Ghana, but these matches have been more than enjoyable.

And I love it (Netherlands all the way)!

Sitting here listening to an American band by the name of “Break and Repair Method,” I can’t help but think about the sport of soccer and how so many people in the US don’t understand or appreciate this game.

Check them out and Google “Break and Repair Method” for sure—great stuff!

But, once again, I digress.

The World Cup action thus far has been nothing short of extraordinary, and I can’t wait to keep watching.

I’ll be heading to deep West Texas for the July 4th weekend, but no worries—I’ll still be keeping up with the World Cup.

My final story has to do, randomly, with my neighbor calling me this evening to see if I had a fan he could borrow.

I told him that if I had one I’d be happy to give him one, but didn’t have one.

When I asked why he needed one, he told me something along the lines of having a major leak in one of his closets and the pipe spraying water all over his clothes and suits (as an FYI, the upstairs neighbor I am talking about is a current law student).

He went on to frustratingly say he didn’t really want to talk about the leak.

Less than five minutes later, a random car pulled into the parking lot at the complex and the individual got out and quickly went upstairs.

A few moments later, I got a text from my other neighbor (who lives downstairs) asking who the random person was at our complex.

I told her I wasn’t sure, and asked if he had been upstairs; here was her reply (and I quote):

“Yes, he came storming down the stairs yelling in Spanish with a wrench and stuff in his hands.”

Now it all made sense.

Pure comedy.

Hope y’all enjoyed it, too!

Have fun continuing to watch World Cup action, along with your baseball teams (unless you’re a depressed Houston Astros fan such as myself), and I’ll be back soon enough with another “momentary lapse of reason” summer story.

And if you’re ever in Waco, Texas—check out Dancing Bear Pub.

Great place, great people.



Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at [email protected]

Vladimir Guerrero Should Still Be a Los Angeles Angel

July 1st, 2010

He's too old. His knees are shot. He doesn't produce in the postseason. If he loved the Angels so much why wouldn't he take their offer? He's greedy. We don't need him. We have Hideki Matsui, and he's better...

These were the things being said on Los Angeles sports talk radio and written on Internet message boards and blog postings about Vladimir Guerrero.

How soon fans forget who drove in the biggest run in the postseason since Scott Speizio hit his home run in 2002.

Who stroked a two—run single off Boston closer Johnathan Papelbon to help the Angels sweep the Red Sox last October? Who posted a .900 OPS against Boston and a .985 OPS against the Yankees?

How quickly people forget and make apologies for a bad front office decision.

At this point if there are any defenders of the Angels left in terms of this move, their homer—dom just can't bring them to admit the Halos are capable of making a mistake, or they're in denial suppressing their rage and sadness.

Guerrero has been the perfect complement to an already potent Ranger offense.

Texas may have the most dangerous one—two punch in baseball at this point with Josh Hamilton on fire (.343, 18 HR 58 RBI, .998 OPS) and Guerrero hitting .330 with 16 homers (including one last night that might still be in orbit off Kevin Jepsen) along with 63 RBI (second in the AL).

The Rangers' line up also features outstanding infielders Ian Kinsler and Michael Young as well as a pair of exciting young players in Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz.

What's been most frustrating about the entire situation is that Guerrero was not replaced by a younger, potentially better player, as the Angels did with Kendry Morales taking over at first base for Mark Teixeira.

Los Angeles didn't pull off a spectacular trade for, say, an Adam Lind or a Jason Kubel type hitter. Nor did it open the check book for a hitter the caliber of Matt Holliday.

Guerrero's replacement also has shot knees and has had a tough time staying healthy despite putting up great postseason numbers. But Hideki Matsui is not faring quite as well.

Currently hitting .262 with 10 HR and 46 RBI, Matsui is not providing the offensive production the Angels had expected.

Essentially, the Angels replaced Guerrero with an older, left handed, less dynamic version of Guerrero.

Matsui had some good seasons in the past for the Yankees, but he does not have a track record of hitting compared to Guerrero. And with the Angels lacking punch in the lineup, you can be sure they would love to have Guerrero back.

Cedric Benson: Are Police Profiling Bengals Players?

July 1st, 2010

The Bengals have been the most active team in the league when it comes to supposed criminal activity. They have been the most criticized team in the league because of their mishaps with police.


The latest on the list is running back Cedric Benson, charged with a misdemeanor assault charge for reportedly punching a bar employee in the face last month.


Benson has had past trouble with the law. He was arrested twice in one month with alcohol charges that were dropped.


If the charges stand, Benson could face a year in jail and $4,000 in fines (not to mention a possible suspension by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell).


When Benson's lawyer made a statement, he made it sound like the running back was the victim in the situation. He also stated that Benson avoided confrontation and left the situation before anything bad happened.


This will be worked out with time. If the charges are dropped, does that mean that police are targeting Bengals players? Ric Bucher of ESPN thinks so.


Bucher stated the relationship between Cincinnati police and the city's athletes, claiming that targeting goes on in Cincy.


Even head coach Marvin Lewis claimed his team was being profiled in 2007 when the team had double amount of arrests than wins.


Bucher said that means nothing for the case of Benson, as it happened in Austin, Texas and not Cincinnati.


Cedric Benson has had all of his arrests in Texas. Are the police targeting the half back like Cincinnati has been with its athletes?


To view the rest of this article click on the link or visit .

Dennis Erickson: Failed Mercenary for the Arizona State Sun Devils?

July 1st, 2010

Dennis Erickson has been a hired mercenary for the entirety of his career. Losing programs bring him in to change their direction, a position with which he has been very successful until recently.

Erickson's first head coaching gig was at Idaho in 1982. He turned a previous 3-8 team in 1981 into an immediately successful 8-3 I-AA playoff team in 1982, ultimately becoming Idaho's all-time winningest head coach to date.

Years later, Erickson turned the Washington State Cougars into a winning program. His first season in 1987 was a rebuilding year for him, going just 3-7-1. The mercenary then led the Cougars to a 9-3 season in 1988 and won the Aloha Bowl, their first bowl victory since 1931.

When Erickson took the head coaching job at Oregon State, he was considered desperate, as not many people were looking to take on the task with the failing Beavers in 1999. In his first season there, he led the Beavers to a 7-5 record, the program's first winning season in 29 years.

Erickson put the Beavers on the map by ranking in the top five nationally and winning the 2001 Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame. He has since been credited for resurrecting Oregon State to their present success.

The University of Miami was the only exception to the mercenary theory, in which he was placed into a winning program, gaining two national championships before he was "let go" due to lack of control over his team.

Then there is Arizona State.

Erickson arrived following the 2006 season, replacing Dirk Koetter, a coach who had been doing just enough to get by.

The 2007 season, Erickson's first, was phenomenal. He led the Sun Devils to a 10-2 season record and a berth in the Holiday Bowl, which they ended up losing to Texas.

The 2008 and 2009 seasons were a different story. Going 5-7 and 4-8 led the Sun Devils to their first consecutive losing seasons since 1947. It was also Erickson's first encounter with back-to-back seasons under the six-win mark.

Dennis Erickson is now sitting on one of the hottest seats in college football.

Erickson's mercenary status is not holding true in Tempe, AZ. In fact, it's as if he is reversing his impressive track record with former teams.

Instead, he brought a 10-win season to Tempe and then failed to produce after that. This is not like the mercenary the country has seen in the past.

Erickson must produce a winning season for ASU in 2010 if he wishes to keep his job for another season and cool off his hot seat a bit.

It's as simple as that. The thing is, how does he do it?

First and foremost, the quarterback situation must be addressed. Fans were more than disappointed with his starting QB Danny Sullivan in 2009, but then again, he didn't have much experience backing him also.

The starting QB gig is still up for grabs between Michigan transfer Steven Threet and sophomore Brock Osweiler. Both have experience and the skills needed to get the job done. Either way Erickson chooses, it is an improvement compared to the 2009 season.

So things are good, right? Hardly.

Along with the QB issue, the offense as a whole must be addressed. Erickson brought in Noel Mazzone, a former colleague of his, to uphold the position of his offensive coordinator.

Mazzone is expected to bring in a high-octane offense, completely revamping their structure. This new hire may also buy some time for Erickson if he is not able to bring a successful 2010 season.

Among the offensive problems are the size of the offensive line and receiver and running back effectiveness. Erickson brought in some huge junior college transfers to buff up the line, but running backs and receivers still need a lot of work after a horrid performance in this year's spring game.

The one thing that Erickson has going for him is his defense. The Sun Devils were among the elite in the country on the defensive side of the ball, and that looks to continue into the 2010 season.

One thing is known: Erickson's seat is getting warmer by the day. If he does not produce in 2010, he might want to clean up his already lengthy résumé for a Division II school, seeing that his mercenary status would be crushed in consideration from any other BCS programs.

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