10 Thoughts on Games 1 & 2 of the 2018 World Series

Boston dominated the first two games of the Series. Some of the things I discussed in preparation for the Series played themselves out. The games were personified by clutch hitting and a dominant bullpen. Here are 10 thoughts as we get ready for Game 3.

  1. My Correct Predictions – As I look back, I was right about quite a few things.
    1. Mookie Betts is playing like the AL MVP and maybe the World Series MVP. He was 3 for 4 in Game 2. Yasiel Puig had a clutch hit and one walk. He could explode in Games 3 thru 5.
    2. J.D. Martinez is a Dodger-killer. He is ridiculously successful against the boys in blue.
  2. My Wrong Predictions – There were also some predictions that did not play out so far in the Series.
    1. Kershaw v. Sale was not the pitcher’s duel I suspected it would be. Kershaw was tormented by his nemesis, J.D. Martinez and gave up two runs in the first inning. Sale got a lot of swings and misses; but a high pitch count was his undoing. I think there is still a chance for Game 5 for all the marbles being the pitcher’s duel we all dream of.
    2. The MVPs from League Championship Series have not made an impact on the Series yet. Maybe we can call this one a push.
    3. The Dodgers depth has not had the impact I thought it would. The Red Sox bullpen has been better than I expected.
  3. Andrew Benintendi May Be the MVP – All he has done is get hits and make amazing plays in the field. His four hits in Game 1 and his leaping catch in Game 2 were daggers to the hearts of Dodger fans.
  4. The All Right-Handed Batter Lineup – The Dodgers unveiled their all right-handed batting lineup for Games 1 & 2. A new lineup is not surprising, the Dodgers had 112 different lineups during the season. What is weird is all their power hitters are left-handed. I was not that concerned because of the Sale pitch count and the Dodgers’ ability to get into the Red Sox bullpen and bring the lefties off the bench. In Game 2, David Price kept his pitch count under control and went six innings, it took much time to get these guys off the bench.
  5. Game 2 Pitcher’s Duel – David Price and Hyun-Jin Ryu started the game off by keeping things under control for the first four innings. That is the closest we have gotten to a pitcher’s duel so far this series.
  6. RISP – The Red Sox have been amazing hitting with two outs and runners in scoring position. Half of their runs in the playoffs have been driven in with two outs. The achilles heel for the Dodgers during the regular season was hitting with runners in scoring position. However, the Dodgers have been good, not great, with runners in scoring position. Their problem has been getting runners in scoring position late in the game.
  7. I Am Concerned About Chris Taylor – Taylor is 0 for 5 in the two games he has started in left field. He looks lost at the plate. He doesn’t look like he has a plan. He also misplayed a ball that resulted in a run. I would like to see Bellinger in center and Kike in left field.
  8. Both Bullpens Have Been Good – The Red Sox bullpen has been outstanding. Going into the Series, I thought the Dodger bullpen had the advantage. The Red Sox bullpen has been lights out so far. The Dodger bullpen has been good also; with the exception of an Alex Wood  and Ryan Madson meltdowns.
  9. Urias Makes Me Smile – Julio Urias has looked great and makes me think he should get the Game 5 or 6 start. I am also excited for the starting rotation next year with Kershaw, Buehler, Urias and Hill.
  10. Dodgers in 6 is Still Possible – It would take the Dodgers being dominant for the next four games. They would need to gain some super momentum with their 3 home games.

10 Thoughts on the 2018 World Series

As we approach the start of Game 1, I wanted to share 10 thoughts that are intriguing to me as the Series starts.

  1. 1916 – The last time these two historic franchises met in the World Series was in 1916. The Red Sox won the Series behind 16 scoreless innings posted by a player by the name of Babe Ruth. He was later traded and the Red Sox were cursed for more than 80 years.
  2. Unfinished Business – The Dodgers are back in the World Series for the second year in a row. They are the  28th team to return to lose the World Series and return the next year. 15 of the previous 27 teams won the Series.
  3. The Managers – Dave Roberts of the Dodgers and Alex Cora of the Red Sox were teammates with the Dodgers from 2001-2004. In 2004, Roberts was traded to the Red Sox and stole a crucial base that is part of the team history. These teams are so interwined it is not funny.
  4. The Rightfielders – Mookie Betts is probably the American League MVP. Yasiel Puig has the ability to put together an MVP like performance in any series. It would not surprise me if either of these guys were the difference makers for their teams.
  5. Kershaw v. Sale – The two left-handers square off in what should be an amazing pitching duel. Kershaw dominated the Brewers to put the Dodgers in the driver’s seat for NLCS. Sale was dominant and even came out of the bullpen to help the Red Soz dominate the Astros.
  6. Ryu v. Price –  Game 2 features Ryu vs. David Price. We are not sure which one these pitchers will show up. They both have enigmatic personas on the mound. This could be a pitcher’s duel or it could be a 12-10 game.
  7. J.D. Martinez – J.D. Martinez killed the Dodgers last season. If he has any help in Arizona last year, he may be making his second appearance in a row in the series. He will have to play the outfield in LA; which will cause someone to be out of position. I have heard they have considered putting Mookie Betts at second base.
  8. The Center-Fielders and LCS MVP’s – The centerfielders for both teams happened to be the League Championship Series MVP as well. Both Cody Bellinger and Jackie Bradley, Jr struggled during the season and found their swings when it counted. Both made some amazing defensive plays as well.
  9. The Two Mannys – While Manny Ramirez is not playing, his connection to both teams cannot be forgotten. Neither can the persona of Manny Machado and his talent and questionable baseball etiquette.
  10. The Dodger Depth – Here is the list of the dudes for the Dodgers I have not talked about yet.
    1. Kike Hernandez
    2. Max Muncy
    3. Joc Pederson
    4. Matt Kemp
    5. Justin Turner

The Prediction – I think the Dodgers pitching, bullpen and depth will be too much for the Red Sox. Dodgers in 6.

Hannity is A Tycoon, Racial Bias Training at Starbucks & A Pardon for Jack Johnson – 10 Thoughts for the Week of April 16 to April 22

This week, I had my share of events and I was glad to make it to my Sunday nap. The delay in the publishing of this post comes from working on a sports podcast with my son. Here are my 10 thoughts for this week:

  1. 24-Hour News Cycle Update – The last couple of weeks, I have used this blog to try to help me keep unforgettable things in my mind.
    • Puerto Rico – There was professional baseball played in Puerto Rico. There were quite a few Puerto Ricans were there to represent their teams. There was also a power outage that left more than 50,000 people without electricity.
    • Syria – We bombed Syria last week and then everything is quiet.
    • Ryan Seacrest – All quiet on the Western Front.
  2. Sean Hannity is a Michael Cohen Client – Somehow it is not surprising that Cohen testified that he represented Michael Cohen. Hannity tried to make it sound like its not a big deal. Later it was discovered that Hannity is a mini-Trump who owns hundreds of property.
  3. Racial Bias Training at Starbucks – Bravo to Starbucks for closing all their stores on May 29 for a day of racial bias training. While it took a terrible incident to get there, maybe a fairly nationwide training session will go a long way.
  4. NBA Playoffs – Here are some thoughts from the 1st Round of the NBA Playoffs.
    • Toronto Raptors and the Washington Wizards are going to go seven games and there is a weird chance the Wizards will win.
    • I am pulling for the Greek Freak even though it is cool to see the Young Celtics play some real ball. They are going to be a force for a long time.
    • The Sixers are the new favorites to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. The Heat are a good team, but they are a star short.
    • Lebron James is playing the best basketball of his life and it is barely enough to beat the Pacers. 
    • James Harden is going to have to play like an MVP for the Rockets to put the Wolves down.
    • The Warriors will have no problem beating the Spurs without Steph Curry. I appreciate Manu Ginobli  balling out at his age. His passion for the game is an inspiration.
    • The Pelicans demolished the Blazers. Playoff Rondo, the Brow and Jrue are playing like their own super team right now.
    • The Jazz are a good team and the Thunder are a smorgasbord of talented parts. As I said in my preview of the 1st Round of NBA Playoffs, Melo is the key and he is a shell of his former self.
  5. NFL Mock Draft- Top 10 – Thursday’s draft is going to be interesting. They say more people watch the draft than watch the final round of the Masters. The Browns have the first pick and they are notorious at picking quarterbacks. Therefore with my latest mock draft, I take the choice out of the Browns hands.
    1. CLE – Saquan Barkley – The best athlete in the draft. A can’t miss prospect.
    2. NYG – Bradley Chubb – The Giants always build on their defensive line.
    3. NYJ – Josh Rosen – The Jets get their quarterback of the future.
    4. CLE – Sam Darnold – The Browns get the quarterback they wanted.
    5. BUF – Josh Allen – The Bills move up and get their quarterback.
    6. IND – Quenton Nelson – The can’t miss guy to protect Andrew Luck.
    7. ARI – Lamar Jackson – The Cardinals move up to get a quarterback.
    8. CHI – Derwin James – The Bears get an impact guy for their defense.
    9. SF – Tremaine Edmunds – Niners get a Rueben Foster replacement.
    10. OAK – Roquan Smith – The Raiders get another piece for their defense.
  6. Genesis 11:31 – In my bible study this week, Terah’s, Abraham’s father, gets a chance to take his family to the land of Canaan and he stops short. Then a verse later, one of the most epic verses in the bible, Abram gets his call to go to the land of Canaan. I was wondering if Terah got a similar call and didn’t see it through.
  7. Tennessee House Votes to Withhold Funds From Memphis – The Tennessee House votes to withhold funds from the city of Memphis because they tried to take down two Confederate statues, and when the House refused, the city sold the park to a non-profit that took down the Confederate statues.
  8. Gorsuch Votes With the Good Guys on Immigration – A Trump nominated Supreme Court Justice put a smack down to the administration’s immigration policy because the law was “too vague”.
  9. Trump May Pardon Jack Johnson – After a telephone call with Sylvester Stallone, President Trump is in favor of pardoning Jack Johnson. Knowing how Trump changes his mind, this will not happen. However, after seeing Unforgivable Blackness, I would love to see Jack Johnson pardoned.
  10. What Happened to Harriet Tubman on the $20? – I read an article about what is going on with the Harriet Tubman $20 bill. The bill is supposed to go into circulation in 2020. I doubt that Trump is going to let that happen. He is an Andrew Jackson man.

Paul Ryan Resigns, Cohen’s Office Raid, Wendy Vitter Has Personal Feelings about Brown v. Board of Ed & #Blessed – 10 Thoughts for the Week of April 9th to April 15th

This week was amazing! I had a great time at work. My five year old had a birthday party. Trump bombed Syria. A lot has raced through my head. Here are the 10 thoughts for this week.

  1. 24-Hour News Cycle – This week when I was thinking of the 24-hour news cycle, I thought about Ryan Seacrest. A new season of American Idol is premiering this week and I wonder what happened to the allegation by Seacrest’s former hair dresser that he sexually harassed her. I remember the big kerfuffle about whether the actors would or would not talk to Ryan on the red carpet. Well, the Oscars have come and gone, and I have to admit that I had forgotten what had happened with Ryan. Shortly after the Oscars, the hair dresser, filed a police report. Since then….silcence.
  2. 1st Round of the NBA Playoffs – I already posted 10 thoughts on the weekend of Games 1’s. The Celtics/Bucks and the Rockets/Wolves series look like they are going to be must watch television.
  3. Paul Ryan Resigning – The Speaker of the House submitted his resignation this week. Ryan announced his resignation and said that he had accomplised all he set out to do as Speaker of the House. He’s a fiscal conservative and he is leaving office with the country heading for a deficit that is headed for $1.5 trillion. I am hoping that his resignation will give him the balls to stand up to the President.
  4. NFL Mock Draft Top 10
    1. CLE – Sam Darnold
    2. NYG – Bradley Chubb
    3. NYJ – Josh Allen
    4. BUF – Josh Rosen
    5. DEN – Saquan Barkley
    6. IND – Quenten Nelson
    7. TB – Derwin James
    8. ARI – Baker Mayfield
    9. SF – Roquan Smith
    10. Denzel Ward
  5. Michael Cohen’s Office Raided – The President’s personal attorney/fixer had his office raided by the FBI. The President is complaining about attorney/client privilege. Unless there was something serious going on, the last place an investigator would want to investigate are the records or an attorney because of the attorney/client privilege. Therefore there must be really be something here. There was a criminal investigation be conducted againt Cohen.
  6. Wendy Vitter & Brown v. Board of Ed. – A nominee for a federal judge appointment did not want to share her personal feelings regarding the Brown v. Board of Education case. She did however said she would respect the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States. I guess she has personal feelings regarding de-segregation.
  7. Reid & Kap on Kneeling – We are four and a half months from the start of the NFL season and kneeling has become an issue already. Both Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick had negative experiences with teams over kneeling. Reid visited the Cincinnati Bengals and spent the day with the team. When he was asked about the kneeling issue, he declined to comment whether he would or would not kneel during the national anthem. He left the visit with no contract offer. Kaepernick had a workout scheduled with the Seattle Seahawks. When he declined to stop kneeling during the national anthem, his workout was cancelled.
  8. #Blessed – When you look up #blessed on Twitter, you see a lot of people celebrating some great things. However I was listening to a podcast about being blessed and it referred to the Sermon on the Mount. Being blessed on Twitter and being blessed according to the Sermon on the Mount are two very different things.
  9. Dez Bryant Released – The Cowboys released Dez Bryant on Friday and he is looking for a team in the NFC East so he can have two revenge games a year.
  10. Syria Bombing – So the President bombed Syria on Friday night and Twitter was a rage with tweets from 2013 when Trump gave Obama hell for bombing Syria. There is a lot of madness happening in Syria and I feel for all the people in the refugee camps. I am not sure if bombing was a good thing or a bad thing.

10 Thoughts on Game 1 Weekend

After a great weekend of Game 1’s, I decided to write a little something about what jumped out to me about the games.

  1. The Raptors finally broke their Game 1 losing streak. It took a record three-point performance, but they got that monkey off their back.
  2. Outside of the Warriors and Thunder, I am hoping for upsets in every series of the 1st round.
  3. The Warriors are too much for the Spurs without Kawhi, who has just been ruled out for the playoffs.
  4. The way the Sixers played on Saturday, the Process may be complete. The entire city of Philiadelphia owed Sam Hinkie a big apology.
  5. Playoff Rondo is a real thing. The guy has ten triple-doubles in less than 100 playoff games.
  6. Can Terry Rozier channel his inner Kyrie Irving  for an entire playoff series.
  7. Playoff Lebron cannot carry the defensively retarded Cavs over the Pacers.
  8. The OKC Three plus Melo made a big splash in Game 1.
  9. Derrick Rose balled out for the Wolves in Game 1. Too bad Jimmy Butler and KAT didn’t get enough touches.
  10. James Harden had to put in an MVP performance in order to carry the Rockets through Game 1.

10 Thoughts Preview on the 1st Round of the NBA Playoffs

The NBA Playoffs start tomorrow and I had 10 things I am thinking about as they are getting started. These are not predictions or what others have written getting ready for the playoffs. Just thoughts that popped in my head when I thought of each matchup.

  1. I always have to remind myself that Chris Paul is a future Hall of Famer. I always thought he was a good little point guard, but I guess I have never seen a game that makes me think this guys is the best point guard in the NBA.
  2. I have heard that Andrew Wiggins is scared of the moment and I want to see if he will shrink or step-up in the playoffs. If Minnesota has any hope of upsetting the Rockets, Wiggins has to rise to the moment.
  3. When it comes to Golden State vs. San Antonio, Klay Thompson is going to be the X-factor for this series. I don’t think KD will be enough. The Warriors are going to need Thompson to drop bombs on the Spurs.
  4. Will Playoff Rondo make an appearance in the series between the Blazers and the Pelicans. Rondo has the uncanny habit of taking his game up four and five levels in the playoffs. I remember when Rondo was the best player for the Celtics during the playoffs even with the Big Three on the court. He made an appearance last year for Chicago; who may have upset the Celtics if Rondo didn’t get injured. I would love to see Rondo outplay Dame Lillard and Anthony Davis and lead his team to the 2nd round.
  5. Carmelo Anthony is going to be the difference between whether OKC wins their first round series with the Jazz or not. Much as he has been the X-factor all season, Melo will be attacked by the Jazz on defense and OKC will need him to hit the open three pointers the Jazz are going to give him.
  6. Will the Raptors continue their streak of losing Game 1’s? They have lost 10 straight Game 1’s. Washington has enough talent to stretch the streaak to 11 if they can put things together for a couple of games.
  7. Do the Wizards like John Wall? I am not sure the rest of his team like him right now. A great series from Wall could help his teammates warm up to him.
  8. The best match-up in the Eastern Conference is The Greek Freak against Brad Stevens.
  9. I know Playoff Lebron will show up and try to make another appearance in the Finals. I just wonder if the Cavs can play enough defense to get him there. They are 29th in the league in defense.
  10. I wonder if Tristan Thompson’s infidelities brought bad ju-ju to the Cavs. However he left his then pregnant girlfriend for Khloe in 2015 and the Cavs won the Finals that season. So maybe this is good for the Cavs.

The Masters, The Joy of Manscaping and a Fire at Trump Tower – 10 Thoughts From the Week of April 2nd to April 8th

  1. 24-Hour News Cycle – Last week, I started talking about the 24-hour news cycle and my lack of concern of things that disappeared all too quickly from the cycle and my mind. I was particularly thinking about Puerto Rico and Syria. However, things have heated up in Syria and I saw some buzz on my Twitter timeline about Puerto Rico. I want to write something about the 24-hour news cycle.
  2. NBA Playoff Picture – Eastern Conference – With only a few days left in the season, the best matchup of the first round appears to be Sixers vs. Bucks. Giannis against Ben Simmons seems like a nice fit for prime time. The rest of the matchups just don’t seem all that compelling. Raptor vs. Wizards would be a good match-up if the Wizards could play up to their talent. It is just hard to believe they could put together for more than one game.
  3. Brandin Cooks Trade – The Patriots once again made a first round trade. The weird thing is that they gave away Brandin Cooks, not because he is not a good receiver, but because he is expensive. Now the Rams appear to have won the offseason two weeks before the draft. It seems like the Patriots cannot pay anyone more money than Brady or Gronk. Not that Cooks is worth more than those guys, it is just what the market bears.
  4. NFL Mock Draft – Here’s my weekly update of the Top 10.
    1. CLE – Sam Darnold -QB
    2. NYG – Bradley Chubb – DE
    3. NYJ – Josh Allen
    4. BUF – Josh Rosen
    5. DEN – Saquan Barkley
    6. IND – Quenten Nelson
    7. TB – Derwin James
    8. ARI – Baker Mayfield
    9. SF – Denzel Ward
    10. OAK – Roquan Smith
  5. The Masters – I was excited about last week’s Masters event; especially with Tiger as the favorite. I really need Tiger to make a comeback. He doesn’t need to comeback and break Nicklaus’ record. He simply needs to win another major or two and show that he still has that magic on the golf course. Jake Reed fought off the world and he won the Masters in a definitive way.
  6. NCAA Tournament – Villanova has won its second championship in the last three years. They were so much better than everyone else in college basketball. They are quietly becoming a blue blood in college basketball. They are making a bigger impact than Gonzaga.
  7. Comparisons of President Trump to King David – I read an article that was a response to evangelicals comparison of President Trump to King David. It is funny how people make an excuse for such an unexcusable person.
  8. Fire at Trump Tower – There was a fire at Trump Tower in New York with one fatality. In a move of no class, the President raced to Twitter to talk about how well built the building was. No mention of any condolences for the person who lost their life in the fire.
  9. Manscaping Can Make You Happy – I read another article about the path to joy can be as simple as a little manscaping. I experience a certain amount of joy when I get a haircut. I am not sure if I feel the same way after a manscaping session.
  10. How to Talk to Your Kids About Porn – I listened to a great podcast about talking to your kids about porn. Good stuff! Every dad should listen to it.