Monday, May 13, 2013

The Phillies Clinch a Berth!

English: Danny Brière during pre-game warmup a...

So the Flyers clinch a playoff berth after losing 10 in a row after the all star break. The team has been crushed with injuries to players such as Hatcher, Gagne, and now even Briere. Briere was a late scratch from tonight's game, and the Flyers elevated their play to make up for Danny not being there. The Flyers scored two goals in the third period to take a three nothing lead, and then Marty Brodeur was pulled. The Flyers faithful chanted Marty, Marty, Marty for the next five or ten minutes or so....but they say it was for Marty Biron, who happens the be the Flyers goaltender who shut out the Devils tonight. The Flyers faithful watched the Panthers shock the Hurricanes, which gave their hometown Flyers a playoff berth. The atmosphere was great tonight, and look for the Flyers to do big things come playoff time.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Barry Bonds Plaque is Stolen!

Barry Bonds in the on deck circle.
It is a bit shocking that something could be stolen from a fairly secure ballpark, but it has in San Francisco. The commemorative plaque honoring the record breaking season Barry Bonds had back in 2007 went missing last night. They are currently making plans to put up a new one, and it doesn't seem they have any plans of trying to get it back.

A spokeswoamn from the San Francisco Giants stated that they would be looking into video they have of the  stadium, but it doesn't appear that they have found anything yet.

All of this drama seems to have reopened a healing scar of the Barry Bonds story, and many people are asking now if they should even put a new one up in the first place? Much of this drama seems to have the city of San Francisco divided. Barry Bonds will frequently return to AT&T Park a receive both standing cheers and boos from the crowds.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Adjusting to lane conditions

Bowlingballs on ball return

Last issue we discussed customizing your ball surface, this week we will cover adjusting to different lane conditions. 

One of the biggest differences I see between professionals and really good amateur players is the ability to adjust and read lane conditions quickly. 

In most league situations the house shot is usually around the second arrow with more oil towards the middle of the lane. In bowling you want to play in an area of the lane that is most forgiving to maximize your scoring potential. If the area right of second arrow is very dry, you want to move a little left (for righthanders) or more to the right (for lefthanders); this will enable you to set your ball down where there is more lane conditioner (oil), and catch the dry area a little later. What you are looking for is a little mistake area to the right and to the left. 

If you must be perfect and have only one board (at the target area) you probably are lined up improperly or may have chosen the wrong piece of equipment. Once you have selected a ball that gives you the kind of reaction you are looking for, remember you will have to move as your league session progresses. Try to always follow the lane conditioner (oil line). 

Example: First game you are standing on the 20 board and your target is the second arrow, you're hitting the pocket and then around the middle of the first game you start going high on the head pin. Adjustment: Make a 2-1 move left (for righthanders) two boards with your feet and 1 board with your target. Remember to always move in the direction that you are missing the pocket. If your ball is not getting up to the pocket, move to the right and if you are missing the pocket to the left, move to the left (for righthanders). 

Today the reactive resin and particle shell balls have such aggressive shells that they make the lanes change more rapidly as a result you may have to make a lot of adjustments during a league session. 

Learn to get comfortable with playing different angles. A good bowler should be able to play as deep as 4th and sometimes 5th arrow and also be able to play outside the first arrow. Most league conditions won't require these extreme angles but the more tournament play you compete in the more you will be required to play these angles. 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Betting Scandal Deppens

The investigations that police undertook into the round 24 clash between the Bulldogs and the Cowboys that started this betting controversy, has suddenly become a whole lot more complex than first thought. The NSW police have now pinpointed several persons of interest behind the betting scandal according to a Skips’s Sports Blog insider.

Three Cowboys players, who are to remain nameless for the time being for legal reasons have been named in material obtained by NSW State Crime Command detectives. However, we have good information that the three players are in fact Willie Mason, Aaron Payne and Cowboys Captain Jonathan Thurston. Bulldogs player, Ryan Tandy is on notice and is set to be sacked from his club after the Grand Final.
It is alleged that the Cowboys players all face similar fates in that they are to receive life bans from the NRL following the Grand Final after the Police have traced money back to several accounts and after viewing video footage.

According to video footage, Payne pointed to the posts to take the 2 points after Tandy had given away a penalty for his side. Others involved are ex-player Hassan Saleh, who lives with Ryan Tandy, Thurston’s manager Sam Ayoub and John Elias. Elias has already been in trouble for a betting scandal in the early nineties and is being questioned by police along with Andrew Johns for this incident.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Will the Flyers Make it?

Philadelphia Flyers captain Mike Richards duri...
Yes Yes...the Flyers have been in a crazy slump...ever since....forever it seems. Ever since Mike Richards went down, it seems the team just lost that motivation. Regardless of that, what made the Flyers so dominant earlier in the year was the fact that teams were hesitant and somewhat "scared" to play them. Cote, Boulerice, Hatcher, Downie....Teams were scared. They wouldn't go for the loose pucks. Now, the league has put a stop to the Flyers Broadstreet Bully play. Their suspensions and threats have caused the Flyers to change their style. Flyers fans all feel the same...Do what you do best, it's simple.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

European Soccer Upate

Theo Walcott

So we're politically correct, an update of European Football.

As for this weekend's Premiership football, well the fixtures of note will be Liverpool v Aston Villa, Arsenal v Everton, and Bolton v Manchester United. I also think Charlton can cause an upset against Newcastle, and if West Ham mess up against Blackburn at home, changes could be underway.

Liverpool are struggling horribly, and with the quality (Alonso and Gerrard) they have, their struggle at the moment is inexplicable. Last season Arsenal struggled, but they had just lost Vieira and Edu, and only signed Hleb, and it took them a while to find their feet. But this season Liverpool have signed Kuyt, Bellamy, Pennant, Mark Gonzalez, Palletta, Agger and Fabio Aurelio, and not lose anyone of note, so their poor form really is a kick in the teeth to the management. I expect they'll find their way and manage to steer themselves into the top 4 much like Arsenal did last season, but really with them being the favourite to challenge Chelsea, their season is essentially already a disappointment.

As for Bolton v Manchester United, the Red Devils have always struggled against Bolton. They've lost twice at home to them, and drawn away on a few occasions, including when Solskjaer equalised in the last minute a few seasons ago. United's midfield, their traditional strength, have been poor this season, but Scholes and Carrick are slowly finding their form. However form books generally tend to go out the window as far as Bolton are concerned, because their no nonsense, kick-and-shove, long-ball approach often means that it's a battle more than a football match. It will be tough to score against Bolton, and if Anelka is up for it he could easily pinch a goal. Fat Sam and Sir Alex are good friends, and these games are generally good-natured encounters as a result.

Arsenal v Everton will be a tough game. Everton have finally showed some sort of consistency this season, and are very tough to breakdown, and quite physical. For Arsenal, this is a game in which Adebayor would be important to give them an option against Everton's direct approach, but he is injured for 3 weeks after going off early on in the Carling Cup. Forgotten man Jeremie Aliadiere should win a spot on the bench. Arsenal have been in good for home, and will be looking to continue it at home so they can turn Ashburton Grove into a real fortress. However, Everton games of late have shown quite polarized results - either they are on the end of a drubbing, or they pull of a 1-0 or 2-1 victory, but that is also due to their inconsistency which seems to have been eliminated this season. Theo Walcott is expect to make a start on the wings with the other attacking options of Ljungberg, Adebayor and Baptista still being injured. Everton are affected by the loss of David Weir for 3 weeks, but they have enough quality in Yobo and Lescott to make up for it. Fabregas will really have to take charge of what will be a very busy midfield, but with Rosicky and Hleb buzzing around him, expect a good midfield contest.

In Italy, the Milan derby will take on extra significance today. It's AC Milan v Inter Milan, and Inter really must win the Scudetto this year. AC Milan have been shamed, and very "lucky" to avoid relegation and larger points deduction, and Inter who've suffered so much over the years from dodgy refereeing decisions and not being one of the "big clubs" must really deliver a clear message with a convincing victory. Adriano's personal life is not helping anything, but with Crespo, Cruz, Ibrahimovic and company up front, they have arguably more quality than Gilardino, Inzaghi and Ricardo Oliveira.

The following day, Fiorentina take on Palermo at home in what should be an entertaining encounter. Luca Toni will come up against the club where he did so well, and both teams play positive football. Palermo will want to show their title credentials, and Fiorentina are still fighting to regain some credibility after their involvement in the match-fixing scandals. The Palermo chief rightly said that Serie A results were much more interesting now, and that it probably has a lot to do with Luciano Moggi no longer being able to handpick the referees, and Juventus rotting in Serie B.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Grunfeld speaks

English: Gilbert Arenas playing with the Washi...
This is a bit overdue, but I wanted to add this to the thin pile of Ernie Grunfeld utterances since the end of the Bullets' season. He said this about Brendan Haywood:
\
Haywood didn't play a minute in Game 4 of that series, and the nameplate was gone from above his locker after the game. Without getting into specifics, Grunfeld said he spoke to Haywood.
“There's a certain decorum and certain way that you should act during a game and after a game,” Grunfeld said. “And that message has been relayed.”

And this about Washington's defense -- or lack thereof:

Grunfeld did return Thursday to a theme heard often around these parts in recent years, saying the Wizards need to get better defensively if they're going to “make some noise in the playoffs.”
“That's going to be our goal for next year – to move up, not just to make the playoffs, but to do something in the playoffs,” Grunfeld said. “And I don't think that can be accomplished unless we improve on the defensive end.”

Washington allowed an average of 104.9 points, surpassed in the 30-team NBA only by Memphis and Golden State. On the other hand, led by Gilbert Arenas, the Wizards ranked fourth in the league in scoring, averaging 104.3.

Asked whether the responsibility for defense comes from a coach and his system or the players, Grunfeld said: “Everybody has to have a defensive mind-set. ... We have to want to do it.”
Nothing earthshaking, of course, but Grunfeld is so close-mouthed and careful that almost anything he says is worth noting.