Food Feud

By Steve Samek

Twitter is a great social media platform. Though it also seems to be the medium of choice for many a back and forth arguments. The twitter war is alive and well in sports as well. This is not a typical fight though. This is outrageous. Yes, two minor league teams are going at it over which of their food-related nicknames takes the prize.

In corner one it’s the Lehigh Valley Iron pigs. The former Ottawa Lynx moved to Allentown to be closer to the Philadelphia Phillis parent club. Sense the name change bacon has been present in logos and ballpark food and even in mascot racer Chris P. Bacon has taken the valley by storm and led to the claim that the Pigs own the best food related logo in the nation.

Enter our second combatants the Fresno Grizzlies. A team named after a bear with nothing food related what so ever.  They staged a grand promotion known as the taco truck throw down. Then the Team rebranded and took the moniker Tacos for the second edition of the game. The plan worked as the Golden Bobblehead award for 2015 best promotion went to Fresno.

Lehigh Valley wouldn’t take this lightly and tried a cheesesteak themed game. This earned the Pigs a 2016 Golden Bobblehead. Thus, igniting the fire in this food fight. http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20170321&content_id=220214666&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_t259&sid=t259

Now the formal game to see which team reigns supreme isn’t actually a thing. Both play in separate leagues. Though the online war is fast and furious. The teas are asking fans to vote for the best food name at this website http://baconvstacos.com/. Both sides have changed Twitter names to   #teamtacos or #teambacon. Merchandise bearing both names is widely available. Though the loser of this vote will have to don the moniker of the winner on field for a game. Both caps are offered in fighting posed versions of bacon and tacos. http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20170321&content_id=220244788&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_t1410&sid=t1410.

Both foods are delicious. My vote is why aren’t a couple other names in on the action though. The Charlotte Knights are becoming the Pitmasters for a game in promotion of BBQ. http://www.bbtballparkcharlotte.com/

Then you have the first team to my knowledge to don a food name in the Montgomery Biscuits. I don’t think Monty and crew would be a team to mess with in this fight.

Sense I only have to options I’m going #teamtaco. I love tacos a lot and nachos even more. I’m not much of a breakfast guy which is when a lot of bacon is consumed. While I do enjoy the hog on a lot of food. I’ll stick with tacos for my pick. Vote for your favorite team at the above website and check out both teams on Twitter. Which food will take home the title?

Playing for Peanuts

Got to love YouTube. Through this wonderful social media channel I was introduced to the topic of Todays Post.

Introducing the show Playing for Peanuts. The show was a 10-episode mini documentary about the South Coast League of independent baseball. It mostly focused on the entry known as the South Georgia Peanuts. This motley crew was led by former big league player Wally Backman.

The shows 10 episodes focused on the trials of independent league ball. Problems ranging from bad umpires to lack of clubhouses and mediocre pay.  Though a lot of good things happen to the Peanuts. They play exceptional baseball and sit atop of the league standings for all 10 episodes. The roster featured a couple former big league players in Curtis Goodwin, Desi Wilson and Mike Caruso. Sad to say now of the former players made it to the majors, but a few did get picked up by professional teams.

I must admit this show is filled with drama. The league is criticized for poor facilities awful umpiring and poor handling of drug testing. Fans fail to show up for games as the league tries to make its mark on independent baseball.

Backman takes a lot of heat for standing up for his players against the leagues short comings. It gives the show a bit of the scripted feel, but Backman does care for his players. Not to mention he gives a rousing pregame speech in an extra episode. Pg13 on it though lots of cussing. Not to mention it does show just how hard it is to start up a league. Though it was just so comically bad how much this league failed.

Though the Peanuts were good sports the entire time. They had a lot of fun on the field and played pranks and tried to stay out of trouble off the field. It made the show very lite in tone despite some serious issues going on.

I highly recommend checking out this show. It’s fun, but serious at the same time. It really appeals to casual and serious fans.  You can enjoy the good on field play and the silly off the field antics. It also serves as a historical marker as the league only lasted 1 season. Read more about it here. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/a-look-back-on-the-south-coast-league-where-baseball-went-to-die.

Watch the first episode here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaAtGTJ4Vgk

By Steve Samek

 

 

Forth Down

 Friday Night Tykes returns for fourth Season.

By Steve Samek

10 weeks is gone and a new set of champs has emerged. We talking about the fourth season of the Esquire Networks hit show Friday Night Tykes. The show that takes you inside two youth football leagues in Texas. This year the show covered five squads in a mix of new and old. Overall I enjoyed this season as one of the best for on the field play. I’ll break down what I thought of each team’s involvement here.

Starting with the Texas Storm. The Storm made the playoffs last year, but lost the state runner-up Texas Wolfpack. This year they had no shot at repeating it. A small roster and a quarterback with limited experience was dooming for the Storm. Every week the undersized squad complained of illegal hits and targeting. None of these complaints were acted on and the Storm finished the year 0-8. This included a forfeit loss in the third episode to the 210 Outlaws at halftime. Three episodes and their arch was done and the real football could be played.

The JYSF Venom was a new team in the league and to the show. The Venom formed as part of a merger this season. While the name is cool and the uniforms bright and shiny the season was anything but. Coaching staff issues and other off the field drama made it a short season for the 2-6 Venom.

Third squad up is the return of Judson Jr. Rockets. While not a favorite team of mine in prior season, they grew on me. A 6-2 regular season put them in the playoffs. Though a game with a lot of arguing and calls that may not have been right the Rockets bowed out in the first round. Though I do feel like there was a chance they got cheated out of that playoff game. Not that it mattered as the Wildcats team the played got beat on in the next round.

The final two squads match names and roots. We have my favorite team that I have followed all three seasons the San Antonio Outlaws. Then from them you have the 210 Outlaws. The 210 as they are called (rather tha 210) broke off from the Outlaws to stay in the Texas Youth Football Association. The San Antonio Outlaws left last year to start the Texas chapter of Snoop Youth Football. The Outlaws are known for domination. They did live up to that standard this season, but did have a couple of refreshing close games.

Tha 210 were a great squad to watch too. They played with the similar skill to the originals. In fact, I would love to see a matchup between the two. The matchups with the Austin Steelers and the 210 were easily the highlights of the season. I won’t spoil how these two teams finish. Watch it and see for yourself.

So, while this season had a lot of drama the play on the field makes up for it. Recommend you check this show out as season 4 was high quality.

Top 10 Green Sports Logos

Today’s first post is going green. Yep the color we all sport on St. Patrick’s is pretty common in sports logos. This post will celebrate the top 10 logos that feature the color green as the primary color.

10. Dallas Stars NHL

It’s a very simple yet effective logo. A star to represent the lone star state in silver with green to accident it. It looks sharp. The updated logo doesn’t have as much green as the old logo, but there is still plenty of it to go around.

9. Hawaii Warriors NCAA

This one is another sharp and simple logo. The H is super green while accented with silver. Though it looks good I wonder why it doesn’t look like it belongs with a team called the Rainbow Warriors, or Rainbows. http://ncaa-sports.wikia.com/wiki/Hawaii_Warriors

8. Daytona Tortugas

A 2014 affiliation switch gave us this better name. The former Daytona Cubs became the Tortugas after becoming a red affiliate. The logo sports a turtle swinging a bat. The logo is green with a sea blue and white letters. It looks cool and gives the local squad a much more unique name than its predecessor.

7. New York Jets NFL

No denying this logo is green. The Jets have used this classic green and white look for ever. While it may not be super flashy and full of New York swagger it still is a clean logo.

6. Green Bay Packers NFL

This logo is another sharp green logo. Combine it with white and a tasteful yellow and it works really well. The Packers’ logo to me is more iconic than the Jets logo due to the success of the team making it the number six pick.

5. Michigan State Spartans NCAA

Michigan State has had a lot of recent success in both football and basketball. With that success comes a lot of exposure with the dark green and white uniforms.

4. Minnesota Timberwolves/Lynx NBA

These two hoops teams share the same color palate and have similar logos. While the Timberwolves are rebuilding with young talent the Lynx are excelling. The Lynx were WNBA runners -up last year after going in as defending champions.

3. Oregon Ducks NCAA

Most likely when you think green college logos you think Oregon. A green o with yellow and white form a wining logo combination. However, Oregon often forgoes the classic look for one of its many uniform combos. Though no matter how many combos they have green is definitely a mainstay in the looks.

2. Tulane Green Wave NCAA

It has green right in the game so of course it belongs on the list. The Wave goes behind a white T trimmed in green. Green is plentiful in this logo. Though with Tulane not having much success on the national scene this logo isn’t seen much.

1.      Boston Celtic NBA

This is a pretty obvious pick. There’s no mistaking this logo for anyone other than Boston. The T logo is very Irish looking in nature with the leprechaun smoking the pipe with green and gold to compliment it.  Combine Boston’s successful history in the NBA and you have an iconic logo worth of being the best green logo.

Have a favorite green logo? Let us know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dealing in DC.

Mystics improving team in off-season.

By Steve Samek

 

The Washington Mystics are on the move up. After finishing the 2016 season in 10th place in 12th team with an 13-21 record. The team has been making movies to turn themselves into the favorite in 2017.

 

The biggest move the Mystics made was the acquiring Elena Delle Donne from the Chicago Sky for Stefanie Dobson, Kahleah Cooper and the 2nd overall pick in 2017. After getting Delle Donne the Mystics also added Kristi Toliver via free agency from defending champion Los Angeles.

 

Toliver is a veteran player who can light it up from three- point range. Toliver hit 42.4 percent from behind the line last season. A mark which was good for fourth in the league in three-point percentage. Interesting enough Delle Donne was ahead of Toliver in three-point percentage, ranking third with a 42.6 percent made.

 

Delle Donne also contributed a tied for the league lead 21.5 points per game while playing in the fourth most average minutes per league at 33.1. Also on Delle Donne top five offensive ability is her free throw percentage at 93.5 good for second best in the WNBA. http://www.wnba.com/stats/

 

Complementing the new acquisitions is Emma Meesseman. Meesseman was the WNBA’s top three-point shooter by percentage at 44.8 percent. Additionally, Taylor Hill was resigned by the Mystics. Hill averaged 15 points per game in just above 29 minutes per game for the Mystic last season. The 15 points per game to go along with 32 games started are career highs for the player drafted a couple slots after new acqusion Delle Donne. http://www.wnba.com/player/tayler-hill/#/career

 

The Mystics  should improve on offense and be more accurate on three pointers. This can make them hard to defend from deep. With multiple shooters, able to hit threes as accurate as anyone in the league even a double team would leave other players wide open.

 

Delle Donne and Toliver also bring playoff experience. Toliver was part of the WNBA champion Sparks last season and Delle Donne’s Sky was the fourth seed in the tournament before losing to the Atlanta Dream in round one. Making this one of the intangibles the Mystic’s could use to make a long playoff run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tebow needs to Quit.

Former player trying hand at baseball.

By Steve Samek

Playing more than one sport professionally is a rarity and happens with mixed results. Former NFL playoff game winning quarterback Tim Tebow is trying his hand at becoming the next great two sport star. However, his early attempts aren’t going well and this is such a publicity stunt the New York Mets need to stop with.

The saga started when the Mets signed Tebow in September and sent him to the Golf Coast League. Tebow made no appreances with the team before being assigned to the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League. The Arizona Fall League is typically for high level prospects to see additional preparation time against higher level competition.

Tebow struggled in the league. He hit .194 with no home runs and two rbi.  Tebow did hit 3 doubles, but only managed 9 other hits. He wasn’t the worst hitter to suite up for the Scorpions, but was amongst the worst five hitters on the team. http://www.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?t=t_ibp&sid=l119&cid=544.

Tebow then entered Mets spring training camp. Tebow did see action with the big-league club while in camp. Tebow didn’t make a good impression going 0-7 while striking out three times. Tebow was then reassigned on Saturday to Met’s minor league camp. http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/tim-tebow-new-york-mets-srikeouts-hitless-grapefruit-league-spring-training-experiment-heisman-031117

While Tebow has had more success in the past couple days including recording a hit. http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20170313&content_id=219195132&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_milb&sid=milb. I’m not convinced of his staying power in the majors.

He’s a 29-year-old most likely headed for short season A ball. Most players that age that aren’t at the triple A level aren’t going to contribute much to the major-league club. Sure age isn’t a guarantee and a strong reason to completely count Tebow out, it really doesn’t do him any favors here.

Another reason I’m not big on Tebow is his lack of prospect status. He isn’t ranked in the Mets top 30. While plenty of non-top prospects make the majors, it seems like the trend is to play on the safe bets and top prospects. Plus, only three outfielders make up the Mets top 30, showing a bit of a lack in quality depth at the positions in the Mets system. http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2017?list=nym

My final concern is Tebow’s complete lack of baseball experience. I haven’t found numbers on reports of him even playing high school ball let alone college. While Tebow does have some skills in football, baseball is a whole new game. Trying to learn a whole new game and make an impact at the professional is tough. I don’t think Tebow has the needed ability’s to make that impact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penguins Trades deadline 2017.

By Steve Samek

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins continued a recent trend of being aggressive at the NHL trade deadline. The Pens made two moves last night and one last week. The goal of the movies was to add defensive depth after Trevor Daley and Olli Maatta are out with injuries that limit them for a about another month. Kris Letang is also facing an injury, but is listed as day to day.

 

To address the need Mark Streit was picked up for a 4th round pick in 2018. Frank Corrado came over from Toronto for Eric Fehr, Steve Olesky and a 2017 4th round pick. The previous week Ron Hainsey came over from Carolina.

 

I would say that the Hainsey deal is the headliner followed by the Streit deal. Both give you established veteran presence on defense. Hainsey has played in 894 NHL games. https://www.nhl.com/player/ron-hainsey-8468493.

 

 Streit is a veteran of 11 NHL seasons and 765 games. All for the price of a 2nd round and 4th round picks and a minor-league player. These deals should benefit the Penguins greatly for the playoff run. https://www.nhl.com/news/pittsburgh-penguins-acquire-ron-hainsey-from-carolina-hurricanes/c-287050588

 

 

 

The Corrado deal seems like a bit much. Two solid role players in Fehr and Olesky plus picks for a 23-year-old defensemen that played mostly in the minors this season. Corrado was assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to start. This was said to be a salary cap movie to acquire Streit. He may develop into a usable defenseman, but for now I’m saying salary dump. Though the consensus from my sources is Corrado just needs playing time to develop. https://www.nhl.com/penguins/news/inside-scoop-trade-deadline-analysis/c-287282286

 

Though the most interesting move is one that didn’t occur. Marc-Andre Fleury did not go anywhere. Fleury has been a mainstay in Pittsburgh sense being drafted 1st overall and has only r given up the starting job to Matt Murray this year. Fleury is still a solid backup and has cup winning experience should Murray go down with an injury. Fleury is also a prime target in free agency and the upcoming expansion draft.

 

Overall I would give the Penguins a B or B plus grade on these deals. The met their biggest need without over paying for it.  While the deals may not be flashy and top of the line they are still upgrades. Jim Rutherford has had a lot of success in his recent deadline deals and even if this isn’t as big as a Phil Kessel trade the moves should still work out.