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jimofbentley
03-07-2012, 09:24 AM
Spring training has begun - so what do people think? How will it turn out? (And, no, we will not be stoning to death those who predict wrong! We are baseball fans, not prophets).

AL East: Yankees. They have shored up their pitching, and if A-Rod is healthy, they should win easily. Cano at second, Granderson in center. If Jeter can repeat his 2nd half performance of last year, he should have another good season. Sad about losing Posada, and trading Montero was a surprise, but they have a lot of depth behind the plate.

AL Central: Tigers. The addition of Prince Fielder into the great team they had in 2011. And, being in the AL, he has the chance to DH. Tigers easily.

AL West: Angels. The addition of Pujols gives them a great edge over the Rangers. Not sure if Texas can get up after last year's loss in the World Series.

NL East: Phillies. The rest just don't seem strong enough to compete. Of course, Howard has to get healthy.

NL Central: Hard to say. The Brewers loss of Fielder, and the Cardinals loss of Pujols makes guessing hard. It could, like last year, come down to the wire.

NL West: My heart wants to say the Dodgers (yes, I know, but I said "heart", not "head"), but IF they can get past their off field problems, and IF the new owner can bring them together - who knows. Too many "if's", so I will go with Arizona. I think that the Giants in 2010 was more "all good things coming together at once", and probably won't happen again. But, if Posey can come back healthy???

AL Wild Cards: Red Sox (so long as they can get their act together). Last September surprised/shocked us all, even us Yankee fans. They can come back, but they have to get their heads straight. The second Wild Card will be a fight between the Rays and the Rangers. The Rays have the harder division, so I will go with the Rangers.

NL Wild Cards: Either Cards or Brewers (depending on who doesn't win the division) and Atlanta - providing they don't implode again - see Red Sox, above.

Michael Hanel
03-08-2012, 12:14 PM
I'm more a fan of specific teams than a fan of the sport. In other words, I don't keep track of every possible team/division, so I can't comment quite as thoroughly. I do think you're quite right on AL Central though. I find it hard to see the Tigers not wrapping up the central. All I can do is hope my Twins don't repeat last season's epic loss total. In the NL Central, I find it interesting you didn't even mention the Reds. I think their division is a pretty open one and although I'd like to see the Cards take it, I think just about everyone has a shot.

jimofbentley
03-08-2012, 08:23 PM
I find it interesting you didn't even mention the Reds. I think their division is a pretty open one and although I'd like to see the Cards take it, I think just about everyone has a shot.

I believe that you are right. The loss of Fielder and Pujols - plus other team changes (for instance, the Cards losing LaRussa as manager) makes the NL Central a tough call.

I had thought about the Reds. These last few years they seem to start well - but then fade out mid-summer. Lack of player depth. Lack of something. This is one of the reasons I did not consider them.

Michael Hanel
03-09-2012, 12:11 AM
I believe that you are right. The loss of Fielder and Pujols - plus other team changes (for instance, the Cards losing LaRussa as manager) makes the NL Central a tough call.

I had thought about the Reds. These last few years they seem to start well - but then fade out mid-summer. Lack of player depth. Lack of something. This is one of the reasons I did not consider them.


That is true, they do seem to have a lot of talent that somehow loses steam, but they have some really solid hitters (Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and the addition of Ludwick). Pitching is always their soft spot it seems. And injuries of course.

The Cards could pick up steam if Wainwright is back in form after his lost year, but that's always an up and down thing. I think if Berkman and Holliday can stay healthy, they'll still have a decent hitting team. No team can lose a guy like Pujols and be the same, but if those two would stay healthy, they have the potential to at least soften the blow.

I still don't think it's easy to count anyone out of the NL Central, and I won't be surprised (or unhappy) if it takes most of the season to get figured out. I enjoy parity much more than I enjoy dominance.

jimofbentley
03-09-2012, 03:24 AM
I still don't think it's easy to count anyone out of the NL Central, and I won't be surprised (or unhappy) if it takes most of the season to get figured out.

I'm 100% with you on this one.

Last year's wild card races - going down to the very last day. Fantastic!

I remember well the 1967 AL race where any of three teams could have won on the last day. Truly exciting stuff.



I enjoy parity much more than I enjoy dominance.

So do I. Just so long as the Yankees win it all in the end. ;)

Michael Hanel
03-09-2012, 09:00 AM
So do I. Just so long as the Yankees win it all in the end. ;)



That's a real good way to end a conversation, sir. I'm glad you didn't start with that :eek:

Fortunately I play fantasy baseball to get out all that angst. I can still cheer for the Yankees as long as they score points for me in one way or the other :)

jimofbentley
03-16-2012, 07:33 PM
And now Andy Pettitte has decided to come out of retirement and pitch again for the Yankees?! :D :confused: :D :D

If he comes good (it has been a full year) who knows what could happen.

If he does, it adds even greater depth to the Yankee pitching staff.



http://content.usatoday.com/communities/dailypitch/post/2012/03/andy-pettitte-comeback-yankees-sign-brian-cashman/1

Lee
03-16-2012, 10:56 PM
Your predictions sound pretty good. Of course, they say the Yankees should win the AL East (if not the WS) just about every year.

I wouldn't give the AL West to the Angels just yet. I was worried when they got C.J. Wilson from the Rangers, but Yu Darvish sounds like the real deal.

By and large, hard to disagree with you.

jimofbentley
04-18-2012, 03:50 AM
Well, how am I doing so far?

I've got it right on the Tigers, and the Cardinals.

The Dodgers have surprised me (in a most pleasant way, I might add). I don't even mind the Nationals - another big surprise, and a team that I didn't even consider.

The Yankees, Angels, and Phillies are a "bit" of a dissapointment.

I'm 2 for 6, not good - but it has only been two weeks.

I guess that is why they play 162 games!

Lee
04-18-2012, 09:26 AM
Well, how am I doing so far?

I've got it right on the Tigers, and the Cardinals.

The Dodgers have surprised me (in a most pleasant way, I might add). I don't even mind the Nationals - another big surprise, and a team that I didn't even consider.

The Yankees, Angels, and Phillies are a "bit" of a dissapointment.

I'm 2 for 6, not good - but it has only been two weeks.

I guess that is why they play 162 games!


*Ahem* You might note that the Rangers appear to be the class of the AL at this early point. They beat the Red Sox 18-3 last night to go to 9-2 on the season. :cool:

jimofbentley
04-18-2012, 10:28 PM
*Ahem* You might note that the Rangers appear to be the class of the AL at this early point. They beat the Red Sox 18-3 last night to go to 9-2 on the season. :cool:

:eek: Don't remind me!!!! :eek:


Mind you, I'm not "upset" about the Rangers (my mother lives in Texas, and a lot of my ancestors are buried there), but I am surprised!

I was going to make a less than Christian comment about the Red Sox, but 18-3 says it all.

jimofbentley
05-22-2012, 07:00 AM
The middle of May - and it isn't good.

Three of the teams I picked to come in first - are now in dead last: Yankees (first losing Pineda - and then Mo for the entire season - it hurts), Phillies, and Angels.

The only really good thing is the Dodgers (NOTE: the Dodger Blue!!). My heart picked them - not my head - but I am very pleased.

jimofbentley
06-13-2012, 03:24 AM
We are now coming to the middle of June, and the world is starting to take on its' natural order:

The Yankees are in first place (and congratulations to A-Rod for tying Gehrig's grand-slam record).

But, as for the rest of my picks, I'm pretty hopeless.

Who would have picked Washington or the White Sox?!

Who would have thought that the Red Sox would be in last place, two games below .500! Certainly not me.

The Rangers are doing well, but the Angels are starting to come back. Pujols is starting to hit the ball, and his average is coming up. It could be quite close.

The Phillies in LAST PLACE???? They miss Howard more than they thought, but it has to be more than this.

Well done to the Reds, and especially the Pirates. I remember those strong Pirate teams of the 70's, and it will be good for them (and the city of Pittsburgh itself) to have them succeed after such a long string of poor performances.

And the Dodgers with the best record in Baseball after all of their off field traumas.

Of course, it is only 60 or so games down, and 100 to go. Anything can happen, and, knowing the history of Baseball, it probably will.

Michael Hanel
06-13-2012, 11:14 AM
Can't say I didn't warn you about the Reds :p I'm not entirely confident that the final rankings will look like they do at this point in the season though. The Angels started out slow, and they're just getting hot. A few teams are one or two injuries away from either going up or down. And of course there will be the potential impact of mid-season trades. I think it's an interesting season so far though with a lot of good stories.

ISalzman
06-13-2012, 12:22 PM
I actually took in a "Subway Series" game (Yankees vs. Mets) at Yankee Stadium this past weekend. I must confess that I am not a fan of the Yankees however. My team is no longer :(.

Lee
06-13-2012, 02:07 PM
I actually took in a "Subway Series" game (Yankees vs. Mets) at Yankee Stadium this past weekend. I must confess that I am not a fan of the Yankees however. My team is no longer :(.

Who was your team?

ISalzman
06-13-2012, 02:23 PM
Very good, Lee. My team was the Montreal Expos. They are no more. (I refuse to transfer my allegiance to the Washington Nationals. It isn't the same!) These days, I content myself with taking the kids to see a local minor league team called the New Jersey Jackals. They play in the beautiful Yogi Berra Stadium on the campus of Montclair State University. Great family fun and very affordable. The Jackals have the 2003 American League Rookie of the Year on their roster (Angel Borroa). And one of the other teams in the league boasts Jose Canseco on their roster. We go to a few ball games every summer.

Adelphos
06-13-2012, 04:28 PM
Hey, man. My Atlanta Braves are only four games back, and if we had better coaches and better players we'd be doing even better than that!

But to tell you the truth, I couldn't care less. Instead, I'm cancelling all appointments, meetings, travel, dinner-outs, and so on, for late June through July... for the Olympics, man!!!

Lee
06-13-2012, 04:32 PM
Very good, Lee. My team was the Montreal Expos. They are no more. (I refuse to transfer my allegiance to the Washington Nationals. It isn't the same!) These days, I content myself with taking the kids to see a local minor league team called the New Jersey Jackals. They play in the beautiful Yogi Berra Stadium on the campus of Montclair State University. Great family fun and very affordable. The Jackals have the 2003 American League Rookie of the Year on their roster (Angel Borroa). And one of the other teams in the league boasts Jose Canseco on their roster. We go to a few ball games every summer.

I remember when the Expos actually fielded some good teams. Their last years in Montreal were pretty tough.

I have always enjoyed minor league baseball. Great for the family because it offers a whole lot more there for those who don't actually enjoy baseball. When I lived in the Chicago area, I used to attend Kane County Cougars games--it's been over 20 years ago, but I believe they were a Baltimore Orioles affiliate. My parents live in El Paso, and I have attended several Diablos games in the past. They used to be affiliated with the Diamondbacks, but now I believe they are basically a semi-pro team with no MLB affiliation.

My grandmother lives in Dumont, NJ, which must be in roughly the same neck of the woods (or should I say "concrete"?) as you. I hope to make it up to visit her sometime early next month.

ISalzman
06-13-2012, 05:13 PM
I remember when the Expos actually fielded some good teams. Their last years in Montreal were pretty tough.

I have always enjoyed minor league baseball. Great for the family because it offers a whole lot more there for those who don't actually enjoy baseball. When I lived in the Chicago area, I used to attend Kane County Cougars games--it's been over 20 years ago, but I believe they were a Baltimore Orioles affiliate. My parents live in El Paso, and I have attended several Diablos games in the past. They used to be affiliated with the Diamondbacks, but now I believe they are basically a semi-pro team with no MLB affiliation.

My grandmother lives in Dumont, NJ, which must be in roughly the same neck of the woods (or should I say "concrete"?) as you. I hope to make it up to visit her sometime early next month.

Yes, the Expos actually had some great teams and some great players over the years (Gary Carter, Tim Raines, Vladimir Guerrero, Andres Galarraga, Larry Walker, Steve Rogers, Jeff Reardon, and, of course, my favorite of all, Andre "The Hawk" Dawson). There was a time where they regularly used to draw 2+ million fans a year. But, alas, the last few years there were very tough. They got absolutely no support from the local city government when they wanted to build a new stadium. And the inevitable happened.

Dumont is about a 50 minute ride from me. You'd only be a hop, skip, and a jump away from Yankee Stadium from there. But I agree with you; there's something really special about Minor League Baseball. My kids love it and we have a great time together. It is a real opportunity for bonding with the kids.

ISalzman
06-13-2012, 05:18 PM
Instead, I'm cancelling all appointments, meetings, travel, dinner-outs, and so on, for late June through July... for the Olympics, man!!!

Hey Scott, it's just a shame that the US Men's Soccer Team didn't qualify for the Olympic draw. Bummer! I guess this is going to be Michael Phelps' last hurrah. He says he's quitting the pool permanently after these Olympics. I definitely understand that. My kids have swum on a competitive swim team for about five years now. They are actually really good. But they are rapidly tiring of it. It is a grind between all of the meets and practices.

jimofbentley
06-13-2012, 10:05 PM
Instead, I'm cancelling all appointments, meetings, travel, dinner-outs, and so on, for late June through July... for the Olympics, man!!!


That's good. But like I have for the last few Olympics, I have declared my house an "Olympics Free Zone", although it will be hard to escape them.

jimofbentley
06-13-2012, 10:11 PM
Can't say I didn't warn you about the Reds :p

Yes, you did - and I'm sure you won't let me forget it either :D. I just hope (for the sake of all those Reds fans) that they don't fade out like they have the last few years.

For me - if I was to go "heart and not head" - I'd like to see the Pirates.

I kind of feel for Houston, though. They don't stand much chance in the NL Central, and next year they are in the AL West - and have to fight the Rangers and the Angels. Talk about going out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Michael Hanel
06-13-2012, 10:42 PM
Yes, you did - and I'm sure you won't let me forget it either :D. I just hope (for the sake of all those Reds fans) that they don't fade out like they have the last few years.

For me - if I was to go "heart and not head" - I'd like to see the Pirates.

I kind of feel for Houston, though. They don't stand much chance in the NL Central, and next year they are in the AL West - and have to fight the Rangers and the Angels. Talk about going out of the frying pan and into the fire.

It's hard to have Joey Votto on your team and still be bad. They do have some weak places on the team and durability is always a question on any team, but I think it'll be a close race. I think it's between St Louis and Cincy. St Louis could come back if they get some players back from the disabled list, but right now anyway Cincy is putting up some good games and creating a cushion.

Adelphos
06-14-2012, 10:11 AM
Hey Scott, it's just a shame that the US Men's Soccer Team didn't qualify for the Olympic draw. Bummer! I guess this is going to be Michael Phelps' last hurrah. He says he's quitting the pool permanently after these Olympics. I definitely understand that. My kids have swum on a competitive swim team for about five years now. They are actually really good. But they are rapidly tiring of it. It is a grind between all of the meets and practices.

Phelps still undoubtedly has the talent, but does he still have the heart?

The name to watch for the coming Olympics in swimming is Ryan Lochte. He's been cleaning the pool with EVERYBODY for the past two or three years, including Phelps. He's broken, I think, all of Phelp's world records in the events they both comete in, as well as others. Unless Phelps is able to really dig down deeper than ever before, he'll finish second to Lochte overall. In fact, I suspect, unless he chokes, that Lochte will come away hands down with most valuable and most winning swimmer in this Olympics.

The American women swimmers also have some great ones too, especially a little (I think) fifteen-year-old (her name escapes me at the moment), who could really electrify the field. As well, Dara Torres, if she makes it through the Olympic Trials in a couple of weeks, could surprise the world once again.

In short, the swimming promises to be one of the most exciting, if not THE most exciting Olympics ever.

Track & Field possibly the same. Usain Bolt no longer runs in a class by himself. There are several very viable challengers, and of course the women are knee-deep in world class runners competing with Jamaica, UK, and a number of others, so Track & Field also promises to have some heart-stoppers. Watch for the men and women sprints in particular to show some spectacular talent.

The rest of the Olympics has great potential in all areas as well.

Of course, in men's Water Polo, I don't expect much at all... that way if by some miracle they pull off a rousing win, or something close, I won't be disappointed.

Overall, however, it should be possibly the most exciting Olympics to watch in my life time.

My only saving grace with regard to swimming is that the times I put up in the mid-seventies are still faster than the current women's world records for those events, but I doubt that will last much longer. In fact, some of them might go down this year in London 2012.

Either way, I'll be glued to the screen.

ISalzman
06-14-2012, 10:51 AM
Wow, you must have been a pretty good swimmer, Scott! You have to admit, Usain Bolt is a spectacular athlete to watch. I don't know if the swimming at the London Games will top the last Olympics. They were incredibly exciting, especially that medley final between the US and France. Should be good. Nevertheless, I must confess to preferring the Winter Olympics over the Summer Games.

Adelphos
06-14-2012, 11:43 AM
Wow, you must have been a pretty good swimmer, Scott! You have to admit, Usain Bolt is a spectacular athlete to watch. I don't know if the swimming at the London Games will top the last Olympics. They were incredibly exciting, especially that medley final between the US and France. Should be good. Nevertheless, I must confess to preferring the Winter Olympics over the Summer Games.

That was actually the 4x100 free relay, and in all my years of swimming, that was far and away the most exciting race I have ever witnessed, and probably the most remarkable race that I ever WILL witness. In fact, I don't think that race can be topped. Jason Lezak, the anchor on that relay who turned in that, shall I say, "supernatural" time, was beyond incredible. Nobody has even come close to touching that time since. As a non-swimmer one would not be expected to know this, but the time he turned in on that leg of the relay was simply out of this world. If you ever wanted to see an example of somebody reaching beyond themselves, that was it.

I suspect the whole games will have a sharper edge than even the last games overall, but that may be just wishful thinking on my part. However, the rest of the world have stronger competitors than ever before in various fields, so it could be a doozy.

It will also be interesting to see how invasive and effective the security is going to be, as this may be a model - or test run - of big brother to come. Not that the security isn't needed, but it will be extremely instructive to watch and analyze.

Adelphos
06-17-2012, 01:12 PM
Here you go, Irv, and other swim fans. Of course I'm very prejudicial, but this is the most exciting race I have ever seen in any sport, hands down. I still get chills watching it.

Scroll to 2:25 in the video to go straight to the race:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcaG245UT30

BTW, this is one of the TWO miracles it took for Phelps to win 8 gold medals.

If they had had the same events available in Munich in 1972 that they had in Beijing in 2008, Spitz would have easily won 8 gold medals as well. That is, they didn't have the 50 free in the Olympics back in 1972. Had they, Spitz would have won that hands down as well as his other 7. I happen to know first-hand how fast he was, as even though he had me by three years in age, I swam next to him plenty of times in practice on our summer team.

The second miracle it took for Phelps to win his 8 gold medals was the unbelievable error of Milorad Cavic in the 100 butterfly. Only novices make the kind of mistake he made. World class swimmers like Cavic just don't make those kind of mistakes. It just doesn't happen. Yet he went and did it, i.e., he took the half stroke at the end instead of driving the wall, and thus Phelps won by one one-hundredth of a second. That is, 00.01.

Spitz won every race handily. IMO, he's still the best swimmer the human race has ever produced, unless of course you include Methuselah according the ages of the patriarchs in the LXX, because the LXX has Methuselah surviving the flood by fourteen years. :cool:

ISalzman
06-18-2012, 01:31 PM
Very exciting to relive, Scott. Thanks for the video! (For some reason though, the video kept stopping to buffer. The 8 minute video probably took 15 minutes to complete. It was a real pain in the neck! I wonder why some videos are like that on YouTube.)

By the way, will Jason Lezak be swimming at the London Games or is he retired from swimming now?

My kids have been on a swim team for about five years now. The swim team hosted Lenny Krayzelberg a couple of times. So we got to hear his story and my kids got personalized pointers from him in the pool. Pretty cool.

Adelphos
06-18-2012, 01:52 PM
There must be something specific to your computer because the video works perfectly on mine. I've watched it probably more than twenty times again. I hate sentimentality in general, but I must confess that I fall to it when I watch the video.

I have no idea if Jason Lezak will compete again. There is going to literally be so much talent in the pool in London in this Olympics that anything could happen. I don't think non-athletes realize how exclusive and how extraordinarily good all the athletes are who even make it to the Olympics. For example, there are some VERY fast swimmers in the world, the vast majority of which will not make the Olympics, and yet they are easily in the same class as those who do.

Take the recent collegiate championships as an example. In the 2012 NCAA's there were seventy entrants in the 50 free. The top time was 19.01. The seventieth time was 20.6. Twenty-two of the seventy were all under 20 seconds, i.e., 19+.

And yet, if those were the Olympic Trials, only THREE out of those seventy would make it to the Olympics, and yet those seventy are among the very fastest swimmers on the planet.

In short, those who actually make it to the Olympics breathe some incredibly rarefied air. If only I'd been a little faster back in the day!

Well, okay, a LOT faster! :cool:

I have a great deal of respect for those who are talented enough to even make it to the Olympics, much less win medals there, and since I know what it takes to get there, I really enjoy watching them.

It's great for your kids to be involved in a sport like swimming, or track, or gymnastics, etc., regardless of how talented they are, as being involved in a discipline like that can't help but build character. Plus it's a huge bonus for their health.

The Olympic qualifying trials for the US swimmers won't even take place for another week or so, but in swimming, track, gymnastics, and so on, it just seems that the talent is higher than it's ever been, so for me this year's Olympics is really something to look forward to.

ISalzman
06-18-2012, 01:59 PM
Thanks for all the interesting info, Scott. Sounds like London will be a good show! Funny how what started out as a Baseball thread has morphed into an Olympic (swimming) thread! :)

Adelphos
06-19-2012, 02:12 PM
Funny how what started out as a Baseball thread has morphed into an Olympic (swimming) thread! :)

Mea Culpa for hijacking the thread. If I get excited enough to post any more about the Olympics, I'll start a new thread.

How 'bout that Roger Clemens? :cool:

As a brief (hijacking) aside, in all my years of swimming I never once encountered anyone using steroids, or even suggesting steroids, not until it became obvious that the East German women were infused to the hilt with them in the early to mid-seventies. But I never had the slightest encounter with steroids or with anybody who used them, and I would have known back then if any of our top swimmers were using them. I don't know about the eighties and onward, but up until that time, or a little before, I can say that nobody in American swimming was using steroids.

ISalzman
06-19-2012, 06:06 PM
As a brief (hijacking) aside, in all my years of swimming I never once encountered anyone using steroids, or even suggesting steroids, not until it became obvious that the East German women were infused to the hilt with them in the early to mid-seventies. But I never had the slightest encounter with steroids or with anybody who used them, and I would have known back then if any of our top swimmers were using them. I don't know about the eighties and onward, but up until that time, or a little before, I can say that nobody in American swimming was using steroids.

That's a whole interesting topic in itself, Scott! Baseball's image became sorely tarnished when the revelations came that some of the game's biggest stars were taking steroids (Mark McGuire, Jose Canseco, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Clemens, etc.). And, unless proven innocent, I believe the evidence strongly supports the case that Lance Armstrong was doping. And I used to watch a lot of international sporting events in my days (especially hockey). I am convinced that athletes from behind the Iron Curtain were loaded up with the stuff.

Adelphos
06-20-2012, 12:21 PM
I have ambivalent feelings there.

I was 17 years old and Spitz was 20-21 years old when we swam on the same summer team for a couple of years. We were both sprinters, and we both swam comparable speeds to work out in the same grouping. There were probably around thirty of us in that grouping. So in other words, I knew first-hand what was going on.

Spitz was near his all-time peak, and the press congregated around him like flies. And yet, every time they printed a newspaper or magazine article about him, the articles bore absolutely no resemblance WHATSOEVER to the truth or the facts or the reality of the situation. I wondered if they were talking about another Spitz from another planet, that's how bizarre their stories were to the actual facts on the ground, to the actual reality of the situation.

It didn't take me five minutes after that to figure out why Spitz was so leery and defensive of everybody. It the press itself wasn't nearby, there was always some schlmo informant who wanted to get his name in the paper and would thus fabricate or exaggerate something out of all proportion just to get the story, and the newspapers and magazines would print it as fast as they could get it to press.

I've been close to several other situations over the years where the exact same thing as happened. What shows up in the press bears absolutely no resemblance to reality or truth whatsoever. Even if by some miracle they get a fact right, they twist it out of all proportion so that it ends up drawing the exact opposite conclusion of what it really was.

Whether Lance Armstrong is guilty of doping or not I don't know. I don't follow the sport. But I would bet all my material possessions and everything I can borrow that the media has not even REMOTELY reported accurately on the matter. Not even CLOSE.

It strikes me as very strange that the feds and other regulatory agencies can spends tens and tens and tens of millions of tax-payer dollars to investigate him and yet can't bring a single viable charge against him.

To the trained eye, it is child's play to determine if another person is using steroids or not. I mean up close and personal, where you can get a good look at the guy.

Thus, I have a real problem with the vendetta that the feds and other regulatory agencies prosecute against these athletes, spending tens and tens and tens of millions of tax payer dollars without ever being able to prove a single, solitary thing.

This is what happens when you consider a person guilty until he is able to prove himself innocent, the exact opposite of how it ought to be.

Athletes, Olympic athletes especially, are considered as guilty as sin unless they can prove themselves innocent, and that's just plain wrong.

The Gestapo-Press-Regulatory Combine may have the public swayed, but as long they consider an athlete GUILTY, and thus FORCE the athlete to prove himself INNOCENT, until cleared, is in my opinion nothing but Nazi Germany in technicolor.

Whether Armstrong has doped or not I don't know, but, like I said, I'll bet the farm that the presses' reporting on Armstrong and others is pure fantasy.

ISalzman
06-20-2012, 02:27 PM
Well, perhaps I should not have been so loose-lipped or quick-lipped. I can't dispute your assertion that the press often gets it wrong, Scott. I agree with you there. But I saw an episode of the CBS TV News Magazine '60 Minutes' about a year ago. They interviewed a fellow US team cyclist who rode and raced with Armstrong. This fellow cyclist said that he had personally witnessed and seen Armstrong doping. I guess, ultimately, you never know who to believe. But this was a pretty indicting and convincing testimony brought against Armstrong.

Vis-a-vis Roger Clemens, who, incidentally, was cleared of all charges yesterday, the chief argument of the defense counsel was that only one individual ever said they saw Clemens take steroids. The defense's strategy was to call the witness into question and to malign him, to cast his testimony as doubtful. But you know what? All it takes is one witness! So what if no one else personally observed Clemens taking steroids? If he was guilty of taking them, ... he was guilty of taking them. (Understand that I'm not saying that he took them. Moreover, a judge and jury has cleared him of all charges. So, in deference to the legal process, I should not call him guilty.)

I certainly don't want to align myself with those who would make this into a witch-hunt and/or who make it their own personal crusade to sniff out all of the doping athletes. But I just think it's sad when athletes who find their way into the public trust and the adoration of their fans later confess to having taken steroids (MacGuire and others have personally admitted to it). The beauty of athletics and sports is that it pits great athletes against other great athletes. It is simply not right and not fair when one of those aforementioned athletes is buoyed up unfairly by performance-enhancing drugs. That is not true competition on a level playing field.

Adelphos
06-20-2012, 03:05 PM
Well, perhaps I should not have been so loose-lipped or quick-lipped. I can't dispute your assertion that the press often gets it wrong, Scott. I agree with you there. But I saw an episode of the CBS TV News Magazine '60 Minutes' about a year ago. They interviewed a fellow US team cyclist who rode and raced with Armstrong. This fellow cyclist said that he had personally witnessed and seen Armstrong doping. I guess, ultimately, you never know who to believe. But this was a pretty indicting and convincing testimony brought against Armstrong.

I saw that, too, and it SEEMED pretty damning. But then, I've seen disgruntled former teammates come across incredibly believable only to further their own agenda, and I did get a whiff of that attitude as well in that interview. There is also the possibility that what he witnessed was not what was alleged, ad infinitum.

Moreover, I would no more believe 60 Minute's rendition than I would Mickey Mouse. I had too much experience with the media and its wiles.

But even if he is correct, and even if Armstrong did dope (which I don't know enough about it to make a judgment, whereas had it been swimming I know enough to see through the holes, but not in bike racing), so even if Armstrong did dope, my main contention is not with catching abusers, but with the system itself.

The system for catching dopers is worse than the Gestapo, and on top of that, there are so many things that cause false positives, that even then the Gestapo won't reverse its decisions; they intrude on athletes in the middle of the night like the Gestapo; they show up disrespectfully at ridiculous times and places, and whole host of other unethical measures.

An athlete should be presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty, and there ought to be PROBABLE CAUSE before an investigation or the Gestapo is even allowed BEGIN an investigation.

Like I said, it is CHILD'S PLAY, in most cases, to determine if a person is using steroids. Once probable cause has been ascertained in that or some other fashion, THEN it might be okay to send in the Gestapo, but until then, I think it's disgraceful the way these athletes are treated.

Moreover, there's still the MAJOR problem of why they haven't been able to convict. There is obviously something wrong with the testimony of this ONE teammate against Armstrong or the case would have taken a major leap forward. Plus, the fact that REAMS of other teammates dispute this fellow's testimony. What do you do with their testimony? Are they any less reliable than the ONE? If so, how? You see, it gets a bit complicated.

Again, I don't know if Armstrong did or did not dope, and I really don't care, but the system is no less heavy-handed than the Nazi Gestapo, and that ain't no exaggeration.

IMO, THAT is the REAL problem.

ISalzman
06-20-2012, 04:06 PM
Yes, complicated, it sure is!

jimofbentley
06-20-2012, 11:55 PM
But you know what? All it takes is one witness!

Maybe this is why Deuteronomy 19:15 says that "one witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses". (c/f Deuteronomy 17:6, which speaks of capital offenses).

It is far to easy to have a "he said - he said" argument, which is what the Clemens case boiled down to.

Regarding Armstrong - and I do not know all of the facts - but I feel that most of it is professional jealousy.

ISalzman
06-21-2012, 10:13 AM
Maybe this is why Deuteronomy 19:15 says that "one witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses". (c/f Deuteronomy 17:6, which speaks of capital offenses).



Oh come on, Jim, must we bring in the Bible, the Old Testament, no less? :)

Adelphos
06-21-2012, 10:37 AM
Well, I certainly don't want to get anybody in trouble, but you gotta admit, nobody can deny that BibleWorks is on steroids! Big time! :cool:

ISalzman
06-21-2012, 11:06 AM
BibleWorks is definitely performance-enhancing for preachers, Scott! Uh oh, does that mean I shouldn't be using the software. By using the BibleWorks software, perhaps I open myself up to the charge that I am using performance-enhancing materials?

bobvenem
06-22-2012, 10:03 AM
It certainly puts your Hall of Fame election in jeopardy.

ISalzman
06-22-2012, 10:28 AM
Let's just see of my congregation even nominates me for Hall of Fame consideration first! :) That remains to be seen!

Adelphos
06-28-2012, 01:48 PM
The other day I wrote:

“My only saving grace with regard to swimming is that the times I put up in the mid-seventies are still faster than the current women's world records for those events…”

Oops.

I was obviously looking at the wrong set of records when I said that. I looked at the progression of records in Wikipedia this morning, and confirmed this time that I actually had the correct records, and it turns out that the current records by the women have me creamed.

But to demonstrate how fast Spitz was, who was even four years before my best times, the women still have a way to go to beat his records that he set in Munich in 1972. They may do it in London, but it will take some extremely good swims.

jimofbentley
07-11-2012, 03:25 AM
Well, here we are at the All-Star break, so how were my guesses going?

AL East: Yankees. They started off a bit rough, but now have the best record in Baseball (52-33).

AL Central: Tigers. Third place, 3.5 games behind the White Sox.

AL West: Angels. Second place, 4 games in back of Texas. However, considering where they came from, they are doing much better, and could just knock Texas off.

NL East: Phillies. "The rest just don't seem strong enough to compete." Did I really say that!! Dead last, 14 games back. Not impossible, just improbable. Equally improbable (but isn't it nice!!) are the Nationals in first place. Washington hasn't had a pennant winner since the Senators in 1933.

NL Central: I said the Brewers or the Cardinals. Neither so far. Cincinnati - and especially first place Pittsburgh - have been real surprises. But, there are only 2.5 games between Pittsburgh and 3rd place St. Louis, so it is still close. Last year at this time, Pittsburgh were only 1 game back, and finished 24 games back.

NL West: My heart wanted to say the Dodgers but I went with Arizona. (I must admit to a personal bias against the Giants going back to when I was 10 years old - but I can't for the life of me figure out why). The Dodgers had a great start, but have hit a huge rough patch these past couple of weeks. Still, they are half a game in front of the Giants with Arizona only four back.

AL Wild Cards: I said the Red Sox and the Rangers, with the Rays doing it tough in the AL East. At the moment it is the Angels and Baltimore, with the Rays, Cleveland and Detroit being close.

NL Wild Cards: I said either Cards or Brewers (depending on who doesn't win the division) and Atlanta. At the moment it is Cincinnati and Atlanta, but the Mets, Cardinals and Giants are all close.

So, I've got one division leader out of six, and one wild card out of four (although we could also count Texas and the Angels - although I did have them in the wrong order). So, all up - 4 out of 10.

If I'm a ballplayer I'm batting .400 and making millions.

If I'm a bookie, then I'm broke.

Lee
07-11-2012, 04:08 PM
It certainly has been a season of surprises. There are always a couple that come out of nowhere, but it seems that several whom everyone expected to finish in the cellar are in first or very close: The Pirates, the White Sox, the Nationals, and the Orioles have all far exceeded expectations. That pretty much makes it the rule rather than the exception, does it not?

Some of these will turn out to be pretenders by the time they've played 162 games . . . time will tell which ones.

jimofbentley
09-21-2012, 09:18 PM
So, we have just a couple of weeks to go, how am I doing? Well, in a word - poorly!

AL East: Yankees. Yes, they are in first, but having blown a 10 game lead they are now in a daily battle with Baltimore!

AL Central: Tigers. They are fighting hard, but still trail Chicago. They are way behind in the Wild Card stakes.

AL West: Angels. They are falling further behind in the Wild Card, and lost all hope for a division title with the surging A's.

NL East: Phillies. In last place earlier in the season, but are coming back now, ony 3 1/2 games back in the Wild Card, probably left their run to late - but who knows.

NL Central: The Brewers or the Cardinals. I thought for sure Cincinnati would fade - but they have gone further ahead. St. Louis and Milwaukee are in a battle for the Wild Card.

NL West: Here is what I said then: "Arizona. I think that the Giants in 2010 was more 'all good things coming together at once', and probably won't happen again." Here is what I say now: "Does anyone have some humble pie for me to eat :eek:!"

AL Wild Cards: Red Sox - well, they might need to look to 2013 (and a new manager?) Rangers. They do have the division - but I never saw Oakland coming.

NL Wild Cards: Either Cards or Brewers or Atlanta - At least in this I have it right. Atlanta and St Louis, with Milwaukee battling hard.

Lee
09-24-2012, 03:54 PM
I really don't follow the NL very closely, but here are a couple quick shots about your AL comments:



AL East: Yankees. Yes, they are in first, but having blown a 10 game lead they are now in a daily battle with Baltimore!

In fairness, the Yankees have probably been the best team in the AL since May. Are they going to be like Ohio--round at both ends and high in the middle? If Baltimore could take the East, it would be one of the feel-good Cinderella stories of the season. Maybe the feel-good Cinderella story of the season, since Pittsburgh has fallen off the radar. EDIT: I probably shouldn't forget the Orioles' neighbors over in Washington.




AL Central: Tigers. They are fighting hard, but still trail Chicago. They are way behind in the Wild Card stakes.

The Sox are giving the Tigers every chance to take that division. Both teams are playing some stinkball to close out the season. The Sox losing 5 in a row? The Tigers losing 2 out of 3 against the Twins?!?




AL West: Angels. They are falling further behind in the Wild Card, and lost all hope for a division title with the surging A's.

It seems every year, the Angels are overrated and the Rangers underrated. The A's have been a surprise. And the Rangers and A's begin a four-game series tonight--this could be absolutely huge.

jimofbentley
10-03-2012, 08:27 PM
And here we are on the last day of the season:

In the last week, the WhiteSox can't hang on and the Tigers take the AL Central.

The Rangers stumble out of first place, and the A's win their last six, including a three game sweep of the Rangers, to take the AL West.

If (God forbid) the BoSox beat the Yankees and Baltimore wins, then there is a tie in the AL East (both only in the second inning as I write this).

As Roy Hobbs said in The Natural, "I love this game"!

jimofbentley
10-03-2012, 09:18 PM
Top of 4th: Yankees 5 - Red Sox 1

Bottom of 4th: Rays 2 - O's 0

It all finished well:

Yankees 14-2
Rays 4-1

Lee
10-04-2012, 12:38 AM
And here we are on the last day of the season:

In the last week, the WhiteSox can't hang on and the Tigers take the AL Central.

The Rangers stumble out of first place, and the A's win their last six, including a three game sweep of the Rangers, to take the AL West.

If (God forbid) the BoSox beat the Yankees and Baltimore wins, then there is a tie in the AL East (both only in the second inning as I write this).

As Roy Hobbs said in The Natural, "I love this game"!


*Sigh* My two favorite teams--the Rangers and White Sox--both close the season with a choke and a thud.

jimofbentley
10-04-2012, 12:42 AM
Well, there it is. 162 games per team, 2,430 games overall.

I didn't do too bad (but it wasn't great either).

Two division winners: Yankees and Tigers.

Three Wild Card winners: Rangers, Cardinals and Braves

Biggest surprises: A's and Nationals

Biggest Disapointment: Phillies, although they did come back in the last half and finished at .500.

Needing the most work between now and Spring: Red Sox. Not that they don't have good players, but something is definately wrong in Boston.

The most interesting possibilities for 2013? Astros. Going from the National League Central to the American League West. Let's put it this way, they can't get any worse. (Please do something - my Aunt Shirley is desperate for a winner!)

jimofbentley
10-04-2012, 12:44 AM
*Sigh* My two favorite teams--the Rangers and White Sox--both close the season with a choke and a thud.

But at least the Rangers have a chance with the Wild Card. I'm sure that they can bounce back and be competitive in the playoffs.

Lee
10-06-2012, 01:14 AM
Well, there it is. 162 games per team, 2,430 games overall.

I didn't do too bad (but it wasn't great either).

Two division winners: Yankees and Tigers.

Three Wild Card winners: Rangers, Cardinals and Braves

Biggest surprises: A's and Nationals

Biggest Disapointment: Phillies, although they did come back in the last half and finished at .500.

Needing the most work between now and Spring: Red Sox. Not that they don't have good players, but something is definately wrong in Boston.

The most interesting possibilities for 2013? Astros. Going from the National League Central to the American League West. Let's put it this way, they can't get any worse. (Please do something - my Aunt Shirley is desperate for a winner!)

I think the biggest problem with the Red Sox has been addressed. Bobby Valentine was the absolute worst manager to inject into that particular situation. I expect them to be much better next year. I don't know about competing for the east, but I do expect improvement.



But at least the Rangers have a chance with the Wild Card. I'm sure that they can bounce back and be competitive in the playoffs.

"Can" and "will" are two very different animals when it comes to the Rangers. Hamilton went from hero to absolute zero down the stretch.

jimofbentley
10-11-2012, 09:28 PM
How the conversation went regarding the Reds:


In the NL Central, I find it interesting you didn't even mention the Reds. I think their division is a pretty open one and although I'd like to see the Cards take it, I think just about everyone has a shot.


I had thought about the Reds. These last few years they seem to start well - but then fade out mid-summer. Lack of player depth. Lack of something. This is one of the reasons I did not consider them.


That is true, they do seem to have a lot of talent that somehow loses steam, but they have some really solid hitters (Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and the addition of Ludwick). Pitching is always their soft spot it seems. And injuries of course.


Can't say I didn't warn you about the Reds :p I'm not entirely confident that the final rankings will look like they do at this point in the season though.


I just hope (for the sake of all those Reds fans) that they don't fade out like they have the last few years.


It's hard to have Joey Votto on your team and still be bad. They do have some weak places on the team and durability is always a question on any team, but I think it'll be a close race.

Sigh: After winning the first two games on the road, Cincinnati loses all three games at home to lose the NLDS 3 games to 2. I expected them to "fade out", but not during the plalyoffs. :( My sympathies to everyone in Cincinnati. :( :(

Michael Hanel
10-11-2012, 10:02 PM
How the conversation went regarding the Reds:

I'm a bit shocked at how that series went. If the Cardinals lose too I just might be devastated.

jimofbentley
10-18-2012, 10:12 PM
And now the Yankees are out - being swept by the Tigers. :(

What will happen next year? There are a lot of questions, but few answers as of yet.

There is already talk about A-Rod, Granderson and Swisher being traded.
But which team(s) will want to spend that much money?

Can they convince Ichiro to play one more year in the Bronx?
He batted .322 for the Yankees, but is now a free agent.

Will Jeter be able to come back from a broken ankle?
He had his best season since 2009, but what will he be able to do on a repaired ankle?

Will Pettite decide to quit for good -
or come back for one more try?

Can we stop Girardi from making all of those calls to the bullpen!
How many times did he swap pitchers - only for them to give up runs.

Who needs soap operas
when you have the Yankees!! :D

Michael Hanel
10-19-2012, 02:22 PM
Jim, you must be careful. You're going to ruin a perfectly good post-season by continuing to talk about the Yankees. Let them rest in peace until after the World Series.

jimofbentley
10-19-2012, 08:33 PM
Jim, you must be careful. You're going to ruin a perfectly good post-season by continuing to talk about the Yankees. Let them rest in peace until after the World Series.

mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa.

Michael Hanel
10-23-2012, 10:43 AM
That was a brutal, brutal series for the Cardinals. They went the way of the Reds. Such a disappointment. But I think they'll still have a good team in years to come. Although their pitching is really aging.

In the World Series, I'll pick the Tigers to swat the Giants, but I don't have nearly as much interest in following the big show since my teams are now out.

jimofbentley
10-23-2012, 09:36 PM
That was a brutal, brutal series for the Cardinals. They went the way of the Reds. Such a disappointment. But I think they'll still have a good team in years to come. Although their pitching is really aging.

In the World Series, I'll pick the Tigers to swat the Giants, but I don't have nearly as much interest in following the big show since my teams are now out.

To see the Cardinals up 3-1, and then lose. That was a great surprise, and a dissapointment. I though for sure that they were going to make it.

And, as much as I hate to say it because I have never been a fan of the Giants, I think that they might just take it all (which would serve me right because of my prediction at the beginning of the season that they wouldn't even make the playoffs).

The five day lay-off for the Tigers can be both a blessing and a curse.

Blessing in that they are well rested, and any niggling injuries should now be dealt with.

Curse, in that the edge needed to go full steam from the start might not be there, not through any fault of their own, but simply because playing against an opponent is different to taking batting or fielding practice, or pitching a "simulated" game in the bullpen.

On an interesting side-note. Even though the Giants (18 times) and the Tigers (10 times) have appeared in 28 of the 107 World Series, this will be the first time that they have played each other.

Michael Hanel
10-23-2012, 09:55 PM
Curse, in that the edge needed to go full steam from the start might not be there, not through any fault of their own, but simply because playing against an opponent is different to taking batting or fielding practice, or pitching a "simulated" game in the bullpen.



It's still not the same, but I thought I heard the Tigers flew up one of their winter ball teams in order to play them in exhibition, so that at least they could play a real game rather than the simulated variety. I don't see them losing a game with Verlander on the mound. That's two wins right there.

Dale A. Brueggemann
10-25-2012, 04:09 PM
I don't see them losing a game with Verlander on the mound. That's two wins right there.

Perhaps Amos 7:14 explains this.

Michael Hanel
10-25-2012, 05:02 PM
Perhaps Amos 7:14 explains this.

Fortunately my vision was not a divine one. Shall I now say that based on the Giants' hitting, there's no way they can lose?

[a no-hitter will follow...]

jimofbentley
10-29-2012, 09:08 AM
The five day lay-off for the Tigers can be both a blessing and a curse.

Blessing in that they are well rested, and any niggling injuries should now be dealt with.

Curse, in that the edge needed to go full steam from the start might not be there, not through any fault of their own, but simply because playing against an opponent is different to taking batting or fielding practice, or pitching a "simulated" game in the bullpen.



Well, it sure didn't turn out as a blessing.

Team Batting average: .159
Team On Base Percentage: .243
Team Slugging: .246
Team OPS: .489

Young and Infante can be proud of their achievements, but I think that a lot of players will have a lot to prove next season.

But, well done to San Francisco, which proved me to be VERY wrong.