October 2009

Let’s Hear It For New York- New York, New York

Fit ti be tied in the Big Apple. The Yankees pulled out the 3-1 victory over the Philies in much better weather Thursday night. The Yankees were more poised and hungry as they pulled out the ‘W’

I am cheering for the Yanks in the series yet I was still dissapointed. I still have not heard Ronan sing God Bless America on TV

However the self proclaimed “new Sinatra” belted out a performance that Frank would sure be proud of.

jayz.jpgRapper Jay-Z performed “Empire State of Mind” along with Alicia Keys before the game. It was a little over the top but I would never expect anything less from Jay-Z. The song was just the inspiration the Yankees needed to pull off this win.

Even though, Jay-Z raps that  he  “makes the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can.” Hideki Matsui and Mark Teixeira sure made a name for themselves tonight.

The Blue Oyster Cult would have loved to hear their song Godzilla played along with other New York anthems. Matsui went deep with a solo shot to take the lead and break the 1-1 ties. He had a solid night going 2-3 with a walk.

While Matsui is the DH, the NY outfield was restructured tonight. Nick Swisher was benched in favor of Jerry Harriston Jr. It was in good taste considering Swisher was batting .111 in the playoffs. Harriston came in and managed a hit, but I feel bad for Swisher. He was West Virginia roots, which already give anybody instant brownie points in my book, but he is a good guy. Andrew (my buddy in North Canton) says the Swish brought this years team to prominence thanks to his pizazz and swagger. He’s played great defense but his arm is in question. There’s no doubt hes slumping, the change was needed.

Another component of the pizazz and swagger has been possible MVP Tex. Teixeira was 1-3 with his own solo shot to get the Yankees on the board in the 4th inning. Tex is my vote for AL MVP. He has been consistent throughout the regular season flirting with .300 and belting 39 home runs.

Pedro Martinez, othrwise known as the most influential player to set foot in Yankee stadium tipped hit cap once again.

large_pedro_martinez_phillies_return.jpgHe was wearing a new uniform, but Pedro was being Pedro. You may have heard his ridiculous pregame interview, I can’t even begin to recap it because it was too bizarre. But apparently Pedro Martinez is not someone you can eat rice and beans with. Like I said, it is not worth even discussing.

While the Daddy Yankees were not that abusive to their “son” the fans surely were. Pedro was booed from start to finish. he cracked a smile when leaving the mound in the seventh inning showing that he’s all fun and just putting on a show. It may not be the most respectable display, but Martinez proved he may just be baseball’s Chad Ochocinco or Ron Artest-excpet Ron Artest may have hit somebody in the stands if they booed him.

The beginning of the game was the most special part for me. Now I know it was a great game and I loved watching it from start to finish-I’m a baseball fan afterall. But I really appreciated what happened prior to the first pitch.

jeter-clemente.jpgDerek Jeter was the recipient of the Roberto Clemente award. Here is is embracing Roberto’s wife Vera Clemente. Roberto’s son is wacthing over. I love moments when coming to Clemente’s honor. His playing ability was second to none and his off the field kindness was unmatched. He died serving others and is rightfully honored some 40 years later. Jeter is a good guy and deserves the award this season. Of course I can’t wait for the day when the World Series is taking place at PNC Park with someone say Andrew McCutchen is handed the Clemente trophy. Just so fitting.

With a day off Friday the action shifts to Philly. Here in Morgantown, the action shifts to Tampa, Florida.

noel1.jpgThe Mountaineers face the South Florida Bulls in a Big East showdown. The unique Friday night game will be televised on ESPN. I’m already nervous. We have not beaten the Bulls in their house since the two teams have first met. I do feel WVU has the upperhand talent wise, I’m just not sure of our ability to play on the road. Noel Devine is one of the top running backs in the nation and is worth the price of admission. He is a darkhorse for the Heisman Trophy and can shake just about any defender out of their boots. It’ll be a tight contest, but the ‘Eers will prevail 24-20


UTterLEY Dissapointed

The scene was set


New Yankee Stadium, no longer just a computer model, was lit up  for the world to see. A year of great baseball was played in the “House that Jeter Built” and the Bronx Bombers were thirsty for more. Jay-Z and Alicia Keys hit song Empire State of Mind could be heard blaring across the nation not just within the limits of the Big Apple.

Up in North Canton, OH my best friend Andrew has a bottle of Malox handy and his cell phone shut off watching his Yanks make their first World Series since 2003.

Here in Morgantown, West Virginia the scene is equally as intense. A mixture of Philly Phanatics and Yankee faithful decsend upon this sleepy college town.

I’m siding with my Pinstriped bretheren as the hunt for the 27th title begins. I’ve mentioned it before that I have a disdain for the Philies. Being a light rival of the Pirates I cannot remotely cheer for them. There is also a hatred of the city of Philly in general. I do like the Rocky Movies and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but those are seperate issues.

cliff lee phillies.jpgThat guy on the left shut me up entirely. He said “You dont liek Philly, shut up!” CLiff Lee was unstoppable on the mound, absolutely dominating the Yankees.

Lee’s pitches were nasty. His breaking pitches were pinpointed excellently and were nearly impossible to hit. Throughout the course of the game Lee never lost his cool. His defense behind him was superb as well as teh glove on his right hand. Lee was in charge and looked fantastic.


Speaking of fantastic Chase Utley was just that. Utley belted two home runs and showcased power. He has been an asset for the Philies throughout the playoffs and looks like he is turning it on here when it means the most.

I said the A-Rod would be the X-factor in this series. I figured with the pitching and hitting is fairly even, but one player would have to emerge to put the critics to rest and lead their team to a World Series victory. While Rodriguez laid an egg in the first game, Utley never backed down.

The dissapointment rang true when the Yankees bullpen collapsed after a decent showing from C.C. Sabathia. After giving up 2 manageable runs he was peppered with hits and eventually relieved.

Well with one game down and more to come the Philies begin this World Series on a great note. They looked fantastic up and down the lineup and from the mound. If they can carry it out and shut the Yanks down this could get ugly, brooms may be brought out. While I doubt that will happen, New York showed no signs of promise tonight.

Adding to my dissapointment was the absence of this guy.

ronan_tynan2.jpgRONAN TYNAN. I live for Autumn baseball in New York just so I can hear the beautiful voice of the famous tenor belt out “God Bless America.”  It is breath taking and brought a tear to my eye back in 2001 after the Terrorist attacks. No offense to the lady and Military officials that sang it tonight, I just missed hearing Tynan flex his golden pipes.

I hope the Yanks can make this series competitive and see Mr. Tynan sing on the big stage.

Sports taking a backseat

Hey all.


How ’bout those games last night.


First we had the Angels-Yankees. 3 solo homers from A-Rod, Damon and Jeter were not enough to hold off the battling Angels. A walk off win by Jeff Mathis allowed for LA to notch their first victory of the ALCS. The Angels are gettin some great production from their lineup especially Kendrick (3-5) and Vladdy (2-4, HR)Tonight’s pitching matchup looks brilliant as C.C. goes up against Scott Kazmir.




NLCS17910200422.jpgOn the night cap there was yet another exciting game.

The Philies jumped out to another lead and the Dodgers looked just as sluggish as in Sunday’s 11-0 beatdown. However, a nice string of hits in an inning allowed LA to come back and eventually take the lead. The Big Man as they call him, Jonathon Broxton comes in looking for a save and a win. He is in a sticky situation but he knows what needs to be done. Broxton throws pitches upwards of 99mph but is wild as Rick Vaughn and walks a batter and hits a guy to set the stage for that guy on the right. Jimmy Rollins, the hero of Philly belts a laser to right center field scoring to and winning the game 5-4. A great night for eastern PA, but not for me, nor Crzblue or Cat. Now I’m not a Dodgers fan by anymeans but I hate to see Philly win. I’m a fan of the Dodgers in the series and was really looking forward to blasting some Randy Newman, no not “you’ve got a friend in me” rather ‘i love LA

But while these teams are celebrating and gearing up for another grueling game there is one team that is trying to cope with a loss, while gearing up for their tough contest.

uconn.jpg Known mostly for their basketball power the, UCONN Huskies suffered something so terrible that no team, family or anyone should have to go through. A member if their football team was stabbed to death Saturday night following Connecticut’s victory over Louisville. At the homecoming dance following the win cornerback Jasper Howard was stabbed following an altercation. He was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead.

jasper-howard-uconn-stabbingjpg-f47d0543d4baae83_medium.jpgHe was known as a great teammate, friend, son and soon to be father. He was just a junior and 20 years old, like myself. Watching this unfold over such news outlets as Sports Center and even Nancy Grace is very touching and scary at the same time. I didn’t know this guy but I know how important it is to be part of a team and treat my friends like a family. The UCONN family lost a brother over the weekend and it shatters the minds of everyone thinking, what if this happened to me?

I go to West Virginia University as much of you know, so you may be thinking why is this such a big deal to me. It is rather a huge deal to me because UCONN and my WVU Mountaineers square off on Saturday here in Morgantown. I’m nervous for this game because the Mountaineers snuck by a mediocre Marshall team 24-7 on Saturday and UCONN handled Louisville well. However aside from stats and figures, the Huskies will be so pumped up for this game in hopes of winning for the fallen teammate.  I’m a huge fan of the Mountaineers, no one can question that, but I have to wonder of life is more important than a game. There’s no question it is. That being said, I will still be cheering my heart out for my ‘Eeers, however I can only hope I will be joined by my Mountaineer brothers in honoring Jasper Howard at Mountaineer Field on Saturday.


this link shows that I am not the only one who wants to get Mountaineer nation on board for honoring the life of Mr. Howard. There is talk of making armbands with a blue #6 on them to pay homage to Howard who wore number 6.

West Virginia is known for having rowdy fans so there are questions out there whether or not the movement will be followed. It is customary to boo the opposing team when they run out of the tunnel just like it is anywhere across the world when your opponenet rushes out onto your home turf. We see it in every baseball park when a batter steps up to the plate. Heck, the entire Yankees roster is booed whenever they are out there. I hope for Saturday that the UCONN team will be cheered when they come out. The fact that they are still playing this game is a tribute to the strong will of the Huskies, that in itself deserves an applause. 

From my front row seats it is tough to be respectful to the opposing team. They stretch in fronT of the student section and even taunt some of our fans. It’ll be interesting to see the reaction of players and fans alike on Saturday. 

The game is televised at noon eastern time on ESPNU. I plan on being front row in the end zone, I’m going to be making a sign honoring Jasper and I hope to not only get on TV to show off my handsom figure but also so the world can see the Mountaineer fans have a soft spot for those who are in need.


The above link has a musical tribute to Howard, honestly brought a tear to my eye.

alg_jasper-howard.jpg                                                            R.I.P #6 

Predictions from Pittsburgh

Well technically I am not in Pittsburgh but rather in Morgantown, West Virginia. I’ve had many arguments with buddies because I say that Morgantown is a suburb of Pittsburgh. Considering it is an hour away and the citizens here are big Pittsburgh professional sports team fans. But in my eyes the Pittsburgh metropolitan area is encompassed by Morgantown. Actually come to think of it, Youngstown, OH, my summer home too is a Pittsburgh suburb. The tri-city area which I call my home is considered “Pittsburgh” in my eyes.

You see how close the states are? Plus Pittsburgh is the heart of it all. From Morgantown to Youngstown it is only a two hour drive. Pittsburgh is the halfway meeting point between the two cities and a great meeting point at that.

Now back to what really matters here, the NLCS and ALCS.

Tonight it gets going. LA vs Philly. 

Here at WVU there are many students from Eastern, PA, big Phillies fans at that. The Fever is catching and turning Morgantown into the City of Brotherly Cheesesteaks. It really upsets me. I don’t like seeing the other MLB team in Pennsylvania getting all the pub. Not that the Pirates deserve any, it just gets under my skin that my team has never been here in quite some time. Nothing would please me more than to see the Dodgers pick apart the Phillies.


He is 21 years old, a few months older than me but yet he is being called upon to notch a victory for the Dodgers. People are saying that Clayton Kershaw may be too young to make theimpact the Dodgers expect. I disagree. Kershaw has been lights out all season and his age is not a factor. 21 year olds are tough people and in the prime of their lives. Experience will not play a factor becuase talent will ultimately prevail.




The Philies have a high potent offense lead by Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez. I said before that experience really shouldn’t be a factor but these Philies have been here before and will be hungry for a repeat.

They are equally matched on the opposing side with the Dodgers.

Matt Kemp, James Loney and Andre Either make up the best lineup in my opinion. Supporting actors Rafeal Furcal, Casey Blake and Manny Ramirez add to the balanced aggressive attack.

These two teams are rather carbon copies of each other and it will be great to watch.

I give the nod to the Dodgers in six games. With decent pitching on either sides of the squads the offense will be the key. I see LA breaking out and scoring more runs.

The ALCS tells the same story.

a-rod.jpgEveryone in New York is smiling along with you Alex. He is breaking out here in the playoffs and showing power when it needs to be there. He along with Tex, Jet and Godzilla may actually see their way to the trophy for the first time in quite some time. The Evil Empire has been in a drought and this year they have shown that the wait has paid off. The team is better this year with an improved pitching staff. The threesome of C.C. A.J. and Andy-the Yankees have a full team, something we haven’t seen since the days of Boomer Wells and Bern baby Bern Williams.






toriihunter.jpgTorii Hunter says don’t count me out yet.

Hunter wants this playoff series more than anybody. He is a vocal leader and his passion for the game is unmatched. The entire Anaheim club wants to win in honor of #34, Nick Adenhart. The team ahs come together since the very beginning to honor their fallen rookie. Nothing will prove more fitting than an Angels World Series. They manhandles the Red Sox and are ready for the Yanks.

This series too is evenly matched. It’ll be tight all the way and I’d say at least two games will go to extra innings. In seven games the Yankees will be propelled back into the limelight to face the Dodgers in the World Series.

In Aaron Boone type fashion I can see a walkoff in game 7 by a New York player.



This postseason looks to shape up to be one that will forever go down in history. There are familiar faces and new stars to be made. What will 2009 bring to the baseball world? We’ll have to wait and see.



Who I’m rooting for


Closing Time

closed.jpgClosed for renovations are the Pittsburgh Pirates. The dismal season is officially in the books after a 6-0 loss to the Reds on Sunday. Pittsburgh finishes the season at 62-99. One loss away from the 100 plateau. If there is one thing to take from this season it is that there is alot of work to be done-but will it be completed-probably not.

The team you’re looking at now will be in place for years to come. There are pros and cons to this.

Pro: They’re young and have so much room for improvement.

Con: nearly 100 losses and no signs of improvement

Kind of contradictory but hey its the truth.


I will say of all the Buccos on the team Lastings Milledge ascaught my eye the most. He has turned things around from his past few controversial seasons. He’s drawn a lot of criticism in Pittsburgh because he had to replace teh vibrant, happy go lucky Nyjer Morgan. He was off to a slow start but finially pickign it up in terms of defense and power. I like what I see and Milledge has turned into my favorite Pirate. Is a jersey purchase in the offseason sound good? I think it does.

It is very depressing now. My favorite sport and favorite team is done. What ever do i do?

Well West Virginia football is right in the thick of things.

At 3-1 the Mountaineers have been exciting to watch and look good and will compete in the Big East.


Anybody have ESPN on last Thursday night? If you did you might have seen my buddies and I, front row at the WVU-Colorado game. West Virginia came away with a 35-24 win. We looked good but still have to get better if we want to make a BCS Bowl. WVU fumbled four times and has 14 turnovers in the last three games. That stat alone holds us back from national championship contention.

West Virginia heads to Syracuse this weekend.

My WVU women’s soccer team is coming off a 2-0 blanking of Depaul on Sunday. The girls
Blank-Header-100409.jpg are 5-4-4 but are still one of the most competitive teams in the Big East. The game Friday against Notre Dame was a heartbreaker. WVU lost 3-2 in overtime. The game was broadcast on ESPNU nationwide. That is greta publicity for this women’s soccer program and WVU as a whole.

One of my articles was published in the paper today and you can read it here…


Now onto what October really means,


Without ever seeing the Pirates in the playoffs I have to get excited over every other team in contention.

I’m so pumped for Tuesday.


This is a great graphic shown on the mblogs.com homepage. What a way to close out the Metrodome in Minnesota. The stretch run the Twins have had is amazing. They’re a great time and play as a collective unit. They’re my pick to win the Tiebreaker and enter the playoffs. The Tigers are one of my favorite teams always and I love the fire they bring as well. My buddy Andrew, the Yankee fan is dying for the Tigers to win. He wants the chance to see a Yankee playoff game and the best chance he has is to drive up to Detroit for that match up. Detroit is a mere 8 hour drive from his hometown, Youngstown, OH.

It amazes me that it all comes down to a tiebreaker anyway. Theres 162 games to decide the season and everyone really is meaningful. Number 163 will be the turning point for both these teams and every eye in the baseball world will be on them.



AP Photo