Wednesday, April 22, 2009

BENGIE TO THE RESCUE!

Unusually warm and breezy spring day in San Francisco. Perfect for attending a San Francisco Giants baseball game against division rival San Diego Padres.

The park was anything but sold out. It was one of the smallest gatherings I've ever seen at the park that Barry built. But no surprise, the Giants haven't been slugging em' out of the park since Bonds left, and that's what many of those fair weather fans of bondgone days were showing up to see.

So here on this beautiful Wednesday afternoon with probably less than 20,000 fans in attendance the Giants and Padres put on a pitching dual that allowed no runs through nine innings. I believe both teams only got a man on third base one time throughout the first nine innings. Barry Zito pitched an amazing six innings but so did Padres pitcher Chris Young (C Young).

We Giants fans were feeling as if sooner or later the Padres would most likely get the winning run since our team seemed unable to get runners past second most of the game. In the bottom of the 10th inning with one out Giants Andres Torres, playing for injured Aaron Rowand singled to get on first base, then stole second. Fred Lewis was intentionally walked with two outs. We fans were feeling that another opportunity for the Giants with a man in scoring position would be squandered.

But then the Giants pulled out our ace. The moment couldn't have been more perfect for our savior to step to the on-deck circle. He'd been given the day off to rest and also get his backup a chance to catch Barry Zito.

And so it was that when Big Burly Bengie Molina stepped to the plate to pinch hit with a man on second we the fans, the few that had stayed anyway, felt we'd see a special moment in giants lore unfold. Now Bengie may be slow when it comes to running bases, and he's not the most charismatic player on the team, but there's one thing he does better than most any other Giant and that's swing the bat. When Bengie took a few swings and missed I knew right there that the game was ours. Though Bengie swung and missed one or two times, I saw that his swing was smooth and unhurried with plenty of power. And just like Bengie, when he did connect with the winning run it was a thing of beauty; high, deep and perfectly positioned to drop where no Padre could get to it before it bounced over the outfield wall for a ground rule double. Game over, Giants win! Bengie's swing had that Will Clark sweetness to it and the ball was launched off the end of his bat like the bat and ball had a mutual agreement; I hit and you fly.

Today's game wasn't the best game I ever saw, nor was it a game to be remembered for moments of excitement, but for me it confirmed all the wonderful reasons that I enjoy a game of baseball in the springtime. The weather, the aroma of the park, the patience of the players, the strategy of the managers, the pace , the future hope, the goat and the hero, the fans young and old.

Thanks to Bengie and the great stick-to-it-ism of the team, on this day the San Francisco Giants won not only a game, but a place in my heart and the hearts of many kids young and old, who saw the magic of hope that a half empty ballpark can conjure up with two simple words: Play Ball!

Giants 1 10th
Padres 0

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Golden Boy Retires, Finally!


Golden Boy Oscar Delahoya retires from professional boxing today. Glad to see he took some good advice, because his last fight against Manny Pacquaio was an embarrassment.

At a boy Oscar, you did the right thing. Thanks for.........................

On the other side of this coin is Oscar the promoter, who through Golden Boy Promotions will have more time to focus on bringing us boxing fans some quality match-ups.

Raiders 2009 Season Schedule Set

Every year I review the newly released Oakland Raiders schedule around this time, and every year I feel that we can beat most of the teams, if not all, that we'll be playing.

No different this year. If Tom Cable and company gameplan with a passion for each opponent, there's no reason the talent we have can't go out and win games. A coach's job is to put his players in the best position to win the game. As my boy "Herm Edwards" once so passionately put it, "You Play To Win The Game........Hello."

I seriously believe we're in for a treat this season. If we just stay healthy, stay together and execute the game plans to perfection, who can stop us except us.

I'm feeling that Silver & Black pride folks, ya wit me?

The countdown to September 14th begins now. On that Monday night we're scheduled to play at home against the San Diego Chargers. I get a chance to wear my "Chargers Suck" T-shirt where the little Raiders fan is pissing on a Charger helmet, can't wait. The Chargers don't know what they're in for.



Raider Life!

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Dream Transferred

pixel


A Raisin in the Sun

A Raisin in the Sun

My Amazon Review




77 used & new from $3.62


5.0 out of 5 stars A Dream Transferred , April 13, 2009


I watched this movie last night and the effects it had on me are still lingering through this morning. Not only is it a wonderful film production and acting performance of a classic and timeless story written for the stage by Lorraine Hansberry, but its also a much needed reminder of what it takes to keep our dreams alive while staying true to the moral and religious values that helped carry generations before us through tougher times.

My mother took us to see this play in NYC back in the 70's when I was about 10 year old. I remember not understanding the different reactions of the grown-ups, I was more captivated by the experience of my first Broadway play and being inside a huge ornately decorated theatre. Watching the movie last night I now understand what all the sorrow, laughter, disappointment and triumph I saw on stage and throughout its audience of years past was all about. I now know why my mother was teary eyed afterwords.

This story is simply about the passing of the torch from one generation to the next. The torch comes with all the emotions of the past (both good and bad) as well as its hopes and dreams. Any people who've been immigrants to or experienced oppression in a land will relate to this story.

I learned from watching this movie last night that what touched my mother so much in this story is that it represented her and my father's story, or any parent's story for that matter; for their children to attain all the dreams and hopes of their parents and generations past, dreams that have now become the children's dreams. I also realized in watching that the obstacles and frustrations I've had to overcome are similar to those of my parents, maybe even inherited.

So Now it is I who carry the torch and will someday, with teary eyes of joy, pass all the hopes, dreams, sacrifices and struggles to my children when the time is ripe.

The message is clarified in this updated movie production. For if we don't pass on to the next generation our hopes and dreams along with the spiritual wisdom and moral guidance of past generations, all of it can simply "dry up like a raisin in the sun, or fester like a sore and run."

A Must Watch!

And for those reviewers who I feel are unjustly criticizing the acting of Sean Combs, try to remember, its not about the messenger as much as the message. Don't be deferred, he delivers the message brilliantly. The question becomes, are you ready to receive it?

Deceased father's love for children and dreams expressed in these lines from the movie: "Seems like God didn't seem fit to give a Black man nothin but dreams, but he did give us children to make the dreams seem worthwile."

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Seven Blows of the Dragon

I was about ten or eleven years old when I saw this movie in a theater packed with neighborhood kids. It was a dazzling movie that I still have fond memories of. The signature theme sound that played everytime one of the heroes (the mountain brothers) jumped effortlessly through the air (cheeka, cheeka, chaa) had us in the audience cheering every time. A Classic Shaw Brothers Martial Arts Bonanza.

Cheeka Cheeka Chaa

An Angel In The OutField

Sad news crashed down on Major League Baseball today. Reports about the unexpected death last night of Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart rocked the league and sports world. Nick, a 22-year old from Silver Springs, MD, made his first start of the season last night against the Oakland A's in Anaheim. It is suspected that he, along with another passenger and the driver, were killed when a hit and run drunk driver ran a red light and crashed into their vehicle. The accident happened just hours after the game. Prayers go out to the families of those killed.

About Adenhart

Adenhart Nick Adenhart was selected by the Angels in the 14th round of the 2004 draft. At the time of his death, he was the youngest pitcher on a big league roster.
• Age: 22 (born Aug. 24, 1986)
• MLB debut: May 1, 2008
• Career MLB record: 1-0 (4 starts)
• Career minor league record: 37-28

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Bizarre Killing of Michael Malloy


Ever hear the depression-era story about the killing of one Michael Malloy in the Bronx? I hadn't either until I came across the book "On The House" by Simon Read. I just finished the book and I'm praying that someone out there will make poor Malloy's story into a movie. Last checked, Harvey Keitel was putting a movie together about the bizarre incident titled "Murder Trust."

The movie could easily be called The Man of Steel or The Man Who Wouldn't Die. The book was full of facts straight from the trial transcripts. With so many characters with similar names and all, it was a bit confusing to stick with, but the craziness of it all kept me reading. It was just too unbelievable to believe it happened. The arresting police and D.A. had a hard time believing it.

The story goes like this; A few low life criminals in a depression era speakeasy come up with the idea of bumping off some poor slob after taking out an insurance policy on him, figuring they'd collect the dough once he's dead. Just so happens there's a poor alcoholic slob that frequents the joint and he just so happens to be at the bar piss drunk when the idea is hatched. Its all one drawn out Bronx tale of a farce from there.

Though the book was semi-amusing, a movie with the right characters and bronx accents would drive it home. Also, I think after 75 years Michael Malloy deserves some honorary medal for his "man of steel" refusal to succumb to the murderous antics of the gang newspapers dubbed "Murder Trust."

The Story:

In January of 1933, a group called the Murder Trust tried to kill a vagrant by the name of Michael Malloy. Already, you can tell this story is going to be awesome.

The Murder Trust (consisting of Tony Marino, Joseph Murphy, Francis Pasqua, Hershey Green, and Daniel Kriesburg) took out life insurance policies on Malloy. If he died, they were going to gain over $3,500. They gave Malloy an unlimited tab at Marino's speakeasy, hoping he would drink himself to death. Malloy proved resistant to the killing effects of the demon rum. Every night, he would come in, drink until he passed out, and return the next night. Malloy's unlimited appetite was in danger of bankrupting the speakeasy, so the Murder Trust decided to up the ante. They began to serve him anti-freeze, turpentine, horse linament, and rat poison. They made him eat a sandwich of spoiled fish, nails, and metal shavings, but Malloy still continued to be invulnerable.

One night, the Trust decided to get serious. After Malloy passed out, they stripped him, carried him outside, dumped five gallons of water on his chest, and left him to freeze. On the night in question, it was a nippy -14 degrees Fahrenheit. Malloy still didn't die. Growing desperate, the Trust decided to run him over with a taxi. They hit him at 45 miles per hour and drove off. Unbeknownst to the Trust, Malloy was not dead; he was merely hospitalized for three weeks, with a concussion and some broken bones.

Three weeks later, he showed up at the speakeasy, looking for drinks. The Trust finally decided to finish the job. After Malloy passed out from drink on February 22, they took him to Murphy's room and stuck a hose connected to a gas jet in his mouth. Malloy finally died. The Trust was arrested. Green went to prison, and the other members were executed at Sing Sing.

San Francisco Giants Opening Day


The SF Giants gave fans plenty to cheer about in their opening day win over the Milwaukee Brewers 10-6. Young NL Cy Young award winning pitcher Tim Lincecum didn't fare too well as a starter and was pulled after the third inning, but hitters (3-home runs) and relievers were able to limit Brewer damage and give the home crowd a pleasing start to the 2009 Major League Baseball Season.

The park was sold out and the knothole standing cage was packed. The weather held out and as the 9th inning came to a close the sun smiled down on the park. A great beginning for a hopeful Giants season. And there's Tony Bennet blaring through the park speakers, winner's music.

Go Giants!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Go Ahead And Crown'em

Five minutes into the NCAA Mens Basketball Championship and North Carolina leads Michigan State 17-7. I'm crowning the Tar Heels at this point. All five starters have scored, they're making two pointers and three pointers, they're causing the Spartans to turn the ball over and you can see that the Spartans are resorting to taking long-range shots, a last resort.

So go ahead and Crown the North Carolina Tar Heels NCAA Men's Basketball Champions, they're playing better ball than five of the worst teams in the NBA. And I guess we should congratulate former Tar Heel Michael Jordan for being selected for induction into the NBA Hall of Fame today. It's a powder blue Monday folks!

Raiders Sign Veteran QB Jeff Garcia

The Oakland Raiders are making the smart moves this off-season. Today they continued that smartness with the signing of veteran quarterback Jeff Garcia. Garcia brings a 10-year resume to the silver & black along with pro bowl and playoff appearances. He's also proven tough and can help starting quarterback JaMarcus Russell in his development.

Garcia began spent his first five NFL seasons across the bay in whiner land. He spent last season with the the tampa bay *ucks.

Welcome to the Oakland Raiders Jeff Garcia!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Scheduled Competititve Eating Contests

Are you one of those sports fans who hasn't participated in a sport since high school or college? Sorry buddy, bowling night with fries and a pitcher of beer doesn't count. Well if you fit this mold and want to break out of it there's a competition just bursting to have you enter and compete.

The economy may be in a downturn but the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE) is alive and well here in the United States. With baseball's opening day on the horizon, so to is the competitive eating circuit's competitions. On April 11th the first of four IFOCE championships of the month will take place at Great America in Santa Clara, California, prizes to be determined. Its the great Funnel Cake Eating Contest and Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, champion of last year's Nathan's Hotdog Eating Contest at Coney Island, will be competing against his archrival Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti.

It may not be too late for you couch potatoes out there to sign up and surprise your friends and family by becoming a competitive sportsman of the new millennium.

What? You say you've got baseball game tickets for that date? Well maybe you the wife and kiddies can truck on down to New Orleans the following week for the official IFOCE sponsored ACME World Oyster Eating Championship. Gas is cheap again and hurricane season isn't for a few more months.

Competitive eating is becoming a very big sporting event thanks to the eating machine Takeru "The Tsunami" Kobayashi from Japan. I myself became a fan after seeing Kobayashi down 53.5 hotdogs one year at Nathan's Coney Island. The Machine has a huge fan base and though he lost last year to Joey Chestnut, he's still the "Pele" of competitive eating.

So if you need a bit of inspiration to get yourself to get off the couch, log in and sign up for one of these food filling events, Here's a little training video. I give you The Machine "Kobayashi" battling a real live bear: