Minor League Championship Games

By S. Samek

The triple -a baseball season wrapped up for the 2017 campaign on September 19,2017. The matchup for the level championship was the Durham Bulls and Memphis Cardinals. Th champs of the International League Durham won it thanks to a big grand slam by Kean Wong in a 5-3 victory.

As I was looking on twitter I saw a tweet asking why the other levels of the minors didn’t have national championship games. I figured it would be something to look into.
I think that it would be a good idea to see championships be played at other levels of the minors. It gives teams another game to play for a championship. If nothing else it’s a couple extra at bats and innings thrown for your pitcher. No down side really. Sure, injuries may occur. But these always a risk of those anytime you play.
If anything, you would think that the Triple A game wouldn’t be played. This is because most September call ups occur from Triple A. So, a decision is in play to call up players for the big club, or stay pat and try to win a triple a title. Double A players may get called up as will some high a players. Levels lower than this shouldn’t have this issue.

One issue though is the number of leagues.

Triple A has two leagues in the states, so they just play. Double A and High A have three. Class A and short season have two apiece, while rookie has five leagues. So, would the other leagues, just take the best two records, or play a round robin. I think that would be the hardest choice to make. Which team gets to host said game could be an issue to. I would just solve that simply by rotating it between leagues.
Plus, if it’s only one game, or even a round robin it’s only an extra day at most. A double header could be played with the three entrant classes and it would be over without elongating the season. Giving players time to relax before fall leagues and instructs. Call ups would then be able to join the MLB clubs for at least a solid month of development.
I’m all for more baseball and a chance to see elite prospects more times. A championship game for each class would give that opportunity. Make it happen MILB.

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Week Four Pick Them

S. Samek

Last week as a bit of a rough go. For the first time this season I went below the .500 mark at  7-9. Overall I sit at 26-19 in the games I picked. Here’s to getting back on the winning track in week four.

Bears @ Packers

Saints @Dolphins

Titans @Texans

Jaguars @ Jets

Panthers @Patriots

Lions @Vikings

Bills @Falcons

Steelers @ Ravens

Bengals @Browns

Rams @Cowboys

Eagles @Chargers

Giants @Buccaneers

49ers @Cardinals

Raiders @ Broncos

Colts @ Seahawks

Redskins @ Chiefs

Top 10 Pirate Logos

By S. Samek

September 19 is Talk like a pirate day. In honor of it we take a look at some of the best Pirate themed logos in sports. The ten are ranked on how fierce and cool they look. As those would be the best way to describe Pirates.

10. Louisiana Swashbucklers.

9. Portland Pirates.

8. East Carolina Pirates.

7.Florida Marine Raiders.

6. Erie Seawolves.

5. Norwich Navigators.

4.Okland Raiders.

3. Pittsburgh Pirates.

2.Milwakee Admirals.

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Top Five Bowlers

By S. Samek

Other than baseball, I would say the other sport I have a great passion for is bowling. Especially during my high school years. It became an obsession to watch the PBA on TV, or go bowling. Similarly, I have my favorite teams and my favorite bowlers. Today I do present my top five favorite bowlers.

5. Jason Belmonte.

I really like watching the two-hander work. He is one of the most dominate players on tour at the moment. I also like how he revolutionized the sport with his unique two- handed style.

4. Mika Koivuniemi.

This was a player that I liked more for his style of play. It was very similar to mine, but excecuted a lot better. The passion for the game was there as well. Most famous for the biggest margin of victory in a TV match with a 299 -100 win.

3. Chris Barnes.

Barnes is just another good player that I tried to emulate. Even though he threw the ball harder than I did. He was just a good guy, who loved the game and a positive ambassador for the sport. Also know for awesome trick shots.

2. Norm Duke.

I always liked Norm. He has a very similar style to my own, so he was a role model to emulate. Filled with competitive fire and also just a love of the game was the biggest takeaways I learned from Duke. This is no better demonstrated then during the 2010 Cheetah championship final match.

1. Pete Weber.

Bowling’s bad boy and an all-time great. I just love how competitive he is and winning attitude. Sure, he gets a temper every now and again, but it’s because he loves the game. Plus, as a proven winner of major titles how could you not like him. O and this memorable moment.

 

WNBA Championship Preview 2017

By S. Samek

Seems like it was just yesterday that we were previewing the WNBA semi-finals.

The matchups offered a bit of intrigue, as a couple of unlikely contenders went head to head with the top two teams in the league.

Both series ended in three game sweeps. So, to battle it out we have the reigning champion LA Sparks and the top -seed Minnesota Lynx. This is a rematch of last season’s championship series.

Last season I picked the Lynx to win. I was wrong as the Sparks took home the title.

LA Sparks

LA is a strong contender and deserves their chance to defend the title. They finished with the second-best record at 26-8, just a game behind Minnesota. They won their last seven games in a row and went 16-1 at home, best home record in the WNBA. A 10-7 away mark was pretty decent as well.

The duo averaged about 36 points per game during the regular season. Parker averaged 20 points a game during the one playoff series the Sparks played in and combined it with 8.7 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game. Ogwumike averaged 10 rebounds during the playoff matchup with Phoenix.

While LA is without Kristi Toliver a major contributor to last season’s run. They do have Chelsea Gray. Gray is averaging 6.7 assists per game, tops for the playoffs along with Parker.

Odyssey Sims came up big with 22 points in the game three win over Phoenix. She adds another scoring option for LA.

Minnesota Lynx

Yet Minnesota has dominated this season. Number one seed at 27-7. They put up the runner up home mark at 15-2 and 12-5 on the road. The concluded the season on a three-game winning streak. Heck they went on a 37-0 run against Indiana in a 59-point blowout win, both WNBA records this season. How’s that for dominating.

They have Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus, both average 19 points per game in the playoffs.

That’s not to forget they also have Sylvia Fowles and Lindsay Whalen. Fowles is the 2017 WNBA MVP, this for a season averaging 18.9 points per game 10.4 rebounds, both in the top five league wide. She also tied for the league-led in double doubles with 20.

This high level of play is being kept in the playoffs, where Fowles is average 20 points per game and 10 boards per game.

Whalen is among the playoff leaders in assists with just under five per game with Moore and Augustus behind per at just under four and a half per game.

The Lynx have a lot of talent to contend with. They seem to be the favorite again this year as well.

During the season series LA took two of the three match ups. This including the most recent matchup on August 27,2017 in LA. LA won last year despite being the underdog and is more than capable of during it again.

Either way this should be a treat of a series. I think it goes down to the fifth game once again. This time with the home team winning. I take the Lynx 3-2, just like last season.

 

 

 

Top Five Football Movies

By S. Samek

With football season starting I think it is time for a top five list related to it. Like the top five baseball movies I did before it, I’m taking a look at my top five football movies.

5. The Little Giants. Probably one of the first football movies I ever saw. I view this one a good bit, because it’s so fun. Good movie to just go back and watch the kids play for the love of the game that often gets lost in this win now mentality of the sport.

4. Remember the Titans. This one is simply a classic and worth watching every time it’s on TV. It’s a great drama with a lot of good football action.

3. Gridiron Gang. This one is a good blend of drama and humor. Not to mention inspiring. I mean who wouldn’t want to join up on a football team coached by the Rock.

2. The Water Boy. This one is just really funny. Its quotable as heck too. I mean who hasn’t compared water to Gatorade, or wondered why alligators are super aggressive. I like this one a bit more than the Longest Yard, though it earns an honorable mention. It’s just a good movie to show the fun side of football.

1. Friday Night Lights. I love this story of a football obsessed Texas town. It had some humor, heart break and sports drama. It’s simply the whole ten yards in one movie. Ranked Number ten in the list of best football movies by Fandango.