Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jeff Keppinger Sparks Giants Hitting

Just when I was ready to tap out of the San Francisco Giants playoff hopes, the team found that old hitting magic. I went to the game today, a beautiful afternoon in the city, just to see the team one more time before calling it a season. Tickets were low priced and the crowd manageable. I sat out in the sun, a book in my lap to divert my attention from the misery that's been the Giants of late.

The game was rolling along in normal Giants fashion; great pitching and few hits with the score tied at zero against the lowly Chicago Cubs. Then in the bottom of the 4th inning something completely unexpected happened that awakened the team and the fans.

Leading off in the inning, Jeff Keppinger homered to give the run starved Giants a 1-0 lead. Up comes Pablo Sandoval and he smokes an 0-1 fastball into McCovey cove to add another run. As the Splash homerun counter flashed 58 (# of Giants home runs into the cove) the crowd went wild. The Magic of Giants baseball seemed to be brought back to life. Hopes were restored.

Keppinger would go 3 of 4 with two RBI. Pablo, DeRosa and Stewart would all go 2 of 4 behind the pitching of Madison Baumgardner (11 strikeouts) as the Giants shutdown the cubs 4-0. It was a day that everyone will look back on should the Giants bounce back into playoff contention.

Other Giants news of the day is that Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada were let go. Tejada yes, Rowand...........I don't know. Either way the Giants seemed to have rediscovered their chemistry on offense and defense if for only a day. Hopefully they can maintain it because tomorrow division leading Arizona comes to town for a crucial four game series.

It was good to see Pat 'the bat' Burrell come in and get a hit. The Giants appear to be making adjustments in their roster to overcome the losing. With under 30 games to play and 5.5 games back, their in mission critical mode. This weekend can decide whether I'll be locked in to a competitive NL West division race or if I simply turn the channel to football.

I give my 2011 Giants credit though; they've fought every obstacle imaginable to keep their hopes of returning to the Big Shew alive. They never quit fighting as manager Bruce Bochy kept the boat afloat through 21 losses in the past 31 games. Maybe today they found out that it really isn't over until its over.

Meanwhile, the Giants payroll manager Robin O'Connor has been charged with embezzling $1.5 million from the team. Could it be this is what pissed the team off and ignited their bats? Stay Tuned!

note: entertainment came in the forgettable form of the supposedly quickest finger snapper in the world, Bobby Badfingers, snapping to a rock tune between innings. With his microphone not working all you saw on screen was a wayne newton wannabe gyrating to music while snapping soundless fingers together. The fans were on the cusp of booing his poor act. He deserved it.

Monday, August 29, 2011


"Basically my plan is to continue to handle my part and let Joel handle his part," said Johnson, who's scheduled to be paid $800,000 this season despite leading the NFL in rushing yards over the past three seasons and making the Pro Bowl each time. "All I can do is continue to work out and stay in shape. ... All I can do right now is keep working out and keep waiting." Chris Johnson

Why would a team not wanna reward their star player with dollars and cents? Tennessee Titans running-back Chris Johnson has proven his excellence in the three years he's romped through the NFL. He could easily wind up being one of the best running backs to ever play in the league. And yet the Titans are trying to shackle him to a puny contract he signed as a rookie? Come'on Man!

I support the holdout of Chris Johnson. I feel that he's proven his abilities above and beyond Titans and football fans expectations. I'd like to see him play while he's in his prime. So a message to the Titans organization: As they say about playing poker, "Go Big or Go Home!" Either pay the man to play in your Oilers throwback teal uniform or release him so that another professional team can suit him up to play.

Titans owner Bud Adams is CEO of a wholesale oil and natural gas supplier, which means he has more asset money than most U.S. banks. So what gives if it ain't the money? The dredlocks? The guy is in a league of his own right now. He's "In The Zone." Pay'Da Man!

The human highlight wants a $30 million multi-year deal.

Hell Yes He Should Hold Out! Wouldn't You?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

California Champions

Ocean View Little League of Huntington Beach, Ca.

Its always heartbreaking to watch the little league world series. Why? Because somebody has to lose. This year it was Japan having their little hearts broken. We Californians can only give poor Japan, who had another team from Tokyo win it all in 2010, a few seconds of silence before breaking out in celebration for our young champions from the Golden State.

Yes, the 2011 little league champions are from Huntington Beach, California. They won it with a bases loaded walk-off grounder up the middle against Japan's Hamamatsu City mashers. The mashers made a few critical errors to load the bases and thus seal their fate.

Meanwhile, our California boys showed power and determination at the plate in battling a tough Japanese pitcher.

Congratulations California Little League, you are deservingly Champions!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

We'll be alright this season Raider Nation

"Jay Cutler can't outrun a chair. And yet He made it to a conference championship game"
talk radio host

If you're a Raiders fan worried about the team after seeing two exhibition game losses, don't fret. The high-powered arsenal of weapons the Raiders possess on offense have yet to be fully unleashed. The starting defense played solid in the first game. We'll see how they do this third game.

We've got the pieces, its just a matter of putting it all together come gameday.

Win, Lose or Tie!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

1911 Giants Lucky Charm

The year was 1911, the sport baseball, the team the national league New York Giants and the lucky charm was a 34 year old feeble-minded man with a child's innocence and a mighty love for the game. They called him Charlie Faust.

For those in sports who believe in lucky charms and superstitious jinxes, no explanation need be given. For those who do not believe, no explanation will suffice. 100 years ago the city of New York was just as hard-nosed a metropolis as it is today, especially when it came to their sports teams.

So when gawky looking Charlie Faust from Marion, Kansas joined the club that summer more as a good-luck charm than a ballplayer, the folks of New York must've thought manager John Muggsy McGraw had lost his marbles. I'm sure McGraw was set to be tarred and feathered by fans when Charlie Faust, the new team mascot, premiered at his first home game wearing a shrunken uniform that stopped short of kissing his long lanky wrists and ankles. The team was coming off the ugly end of a three game series sweep and suffering from self-doubt and fiery fan criticism.

McGraw went against his better no-nonsense judgement in hoping Charlie's fun and funny antics in the clubhouse and during pre-game warm-ups would relax the team, getting them back to playing Giants baseball. It worked to lucky perfection with only one scare early on, when Charlie abandoned the team and fans to seek a serious pitching tryout with the club which then resided across the bridge to Brooklyn.

Three days of losing and McGraw had had enough of it. So had Charlie as he found his way back to the Giants after being rejected and laughed out of the Brooklyn ballpark. Nobody was happier to have Charlie back in a Giants uniform than McGraw. Its said that he was so determined to keep his 6-foot-2, 180 pound lucky charm from slipping away again that he promised him some playing time and found a Giants uniform that "fit'em like a glove."

The Giants would make it to the 1911 World Series in part thanks to their superstitious belief in a man who simply made them laugh along the way; Charles Victor Faust.

from the Baseball Biography Project
Once the game started, Faust would either station himself beyond the outfield, warming up for innings at a time to be ready in case the Giants needed him, or sit on the bench, cheering on his teammates and predicting their base hits. Whatever he did worked. From the time he met McGraw in St. Louis to the day the Giants clinched the pennant, the team had a record of 39-9. When he was in uniform and exerting his jinxing powers, their record was an astonishing 36-2.

Giants manager John McGraw wrote, "I give Charlie Faust full credit for winning the pennant for me - the National League pennant of 1911." Faust had approached McGraw before the season and explained that a fortune teller told him if he pitched for the Giants, they would win the pennant. Faust became a good luck charm, traveling with the team and warming up to pitch every game. He hurled an inning against the last-place Dodgers on the final day, shutting them out on one hit. He also reached base by getting hit by a pitch, and was allowed to steal second and third, and score. "Who's loony now?" he asked teammates as the crowd cheered. Faust was committed to an institution in 1914. When he died in 1915, the Giants finished last. (KT)

Audio story of Charles Victory Faust

Note: Maybe, just maybe, Bruce Bochy and the 2011 San Francisco Giants could use a modern version of Charlie Faust. Anything to help get us fans through another tortuous and bumpy road leading to the World Series. Faust Where Are U?

And The Crowd Goes WILD!

Actually this footage of a fan fight at Candlestick Park pits a Raiders and 49ers fan against two 49er fans.

While the proposed shared football stadium between the two teams makes good business sense, their fan rivalry keeps the gameday matchup personal. Battle of the Bay just got more personal, punchy personal.

Its not the first time a civil war matched brother against brother.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Clanky's Nub

Posting this because of it's African-American cast, volcanic climax and ripping soundtrack. What a mix, A 1920's silent-film with hipster music from a rock band outta Memphis named Clanky's Nub? Only on youtube folks! Thanks HowieMarx.

My best guess at the original title of this clip:

........."The Kept Bitch"..........

Clanky's Nub - Walk Away

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Some Quotes Ooze With Truth

This quote I came across today might just explain the attitude behind the Housing Market Collapse, the Financial Markets Decline, the Debt Ceiling Crisis and the NFL Lockout.

No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. ~ H.L.Mencken

In other words, the Capitalist's low estimation of the American public's intelligence encourages his risk for profit mentality. Don't believe me?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Raiders have reason to think playoffs

I simply don't believe it! An senior analyst has put his name to an article that states the Oakland Raiders could make the playoffs; and for added measure he lists the reasons why.

I hope journalist Gil Brandt's contract includes an escape clause, cause writing anything positive about the Raiders, regardless of its truth, brings criticism and backlash from the mainstream media.

To me it looks like Gil did his homework while attending three days of Raiders training camp in Napa, California. He observed the players, the coaches and the atmosphere of camp before coming away with a winning analysis of the 2011 Oakland Raiders potential.

Gil sees the Raiders winning the AFC West over the three stooges (Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs) after witnessing the following:

a rallying coach, a productive quarterback, a thriving offense with new receiving weapons, a hustling defense with a good mix of veterans and youngsters and a returning game-changing special teams with a new speedy weapon in return man Denarius Moore.

In the infamous words of Yul (Brandt) Brenner:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Its Raiders Time Baby!


This Thursday, Aug 11th, begins the Oakland Raiders return to greatness. Raider Nation is recruiting all silver & black fans to come out to the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum and be a part of the resurgence.

The exhibition game against the Arizona Cardinals is the start of coach Hue Jackson's stewardship. Jump on board now in order to feel the power and glory of a loyal fan cheering his team to a championship.

Its a journey that begins with one big and bold step. You won't wanna miss this adventure. I Guarantee it!

The Autumn Wind is a pirate
Blustering in from sea
With a rollicking song he sweeps along
swaggering boisterously
His face is weather beaten
He wears a hooded sash
With his silver hat about his head
And a bristly black moustache
He growls as he storms the country
A villain big and bold
And the trees all shake and quiver and quake
As he robs them of their gold
The Autumn wind is a Raider
Pillaging just for fun
He'll knock you 'round and upside down
And laugh when he's conquered and won.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The Autumn Wind 2011 by Hector Silva


Steve and Ed Sabol, the father and son team who created the legendary NFL Films. Picture taken before the 1991 Super Bowl.

Come on NFL fans, where would your football history knowledge really be without the gift of NFL Films? Were you there when Lombardi's Packers were dominating teams? NFL Films was. Did you have a ticket to the game that saw Steelers running back Franco Harris immaculately pluck the pigskin out of the air and win a game in the final seconds? NFL Films was. Perhaps you remember being in the stands when Forty-Niners tight end Dwight Clark caught a high spiral from quarterback Joe Montana for a touchdown that would begin the teams' domination in the 1980's? NFL Films was there.

In the examples I've given, not only was NFL Films there, but they were busy capturing those moments and many others on film for us the admirers of professional football. The man behind the idea to preserve the great football moments on film is Ed Sabol. Ed, along with his Son Steve, began filming NFL games under their company Blair Motion Pictures in 1962. In 1964 BMP became NFL Films with an exclusive contract to preserve NFL games on film. Here almost fifty years later the NFL is recognizing Ed and NFL Films for their unparalleled contribution to the league and the game of football.

Ed Sabol was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio yesterday along with the likes of five great players; Marshall Faulk, Chris Hanburger, Shannon Sharpe, Deion Sanders and Richard Dent. The players have left behind a career that helped set a standard for great players to come. The induction of Ed Sabol acknowledges not only the contribution, but the high standard of creativity and commitment instilled in NFL Films.

NFL Films continues to bring us fans that high standard of production that Ed Sabol established. We fans would not have the passion for our team that we so proudly wear like a badge of honor, if it weren't for NFL Films. My proud Silver & Black Oakland Raiders might have established their intimidating image on the field, but the boisterous impressions from the swaggering sights and rollicking sounds that NFL Films captured on film makes the memories legendary and everlasting. The Autumn Wind poem would never have been a Raider were it not for NFL Films and their chosen voice of God, the late "John Facenda."

The beauty of Ed's Hall of Fame recognition is that unlike with the other inductees, his legacy continues providing fans, both new and old, with the magic of the game. I should include future NFL players in the list of fans inspired by NFL Films. I'm sure that the majority of NFL Players were admirers of NFL Films before they ever played a game of football. We should thank Ed and NFL Films for inspiring young athletes to aspire to become professional football players for the love of the game.

In 1995, Ed officially retired from NFL Films in his role as President and Chairman.

Thanks Ed for lighting the torch and insuring through NFL Films that the path to seeing football greatness, both past and present, will always be accessible for any travelers feet to tread.

Watch Ed Sabol and NFL Films' Hall of Fame enshrinement clip: NFL FILMS

Friday, August 05, 2011

Raiders Sign TE Kevin Boss To 4-Year Deal

Today the New York Giants are feeling the same pain that knotted the stomach of the Oakland Raiders two days ago. They lost a pro bowl tight end who was a major part of their receiving corps. While the G-Men lie in sickbay with thermometer in mouth waiting for the fever to break, Raider Nation has leapt out of bed to celebrate the soon-to-be lethal new weapon of the Oakland offense; #89 Kevin Boss.

Though the New York tabloids aren't giving the story much attention, acting as if its only a rumor, wikipedia has Kevin Boss as " an American football tight end for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League."

The deal is a four-year contract worth $16 million.

I'll take my chances with wikipedia. Welcome to the Silver & Black "Kev-Bo."Did I mention that he's a bigger and stronger blocker than Zach Miller? Oh My!

Hey New York Giants organization, you're officially on the Raider Nation xmas list! Who knew that an east coast summer heatwave could affect the judgement of a franchise so. If your still feeling generous and giving, you can buy wide receiver Steve Smith a one-way jetblue ticket west of the rockies, we've got a spot waiting for him too. Thank you and have a wonderful summer camp.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Ole Reliable Zach Miller Signs With Seattle


News of Raiders pro bowl tight-end Zach Miller signing a five year deal with the Seattle Seahawks completely shattered my hopes for an improved silver & black squad this season. Zach has been the most consistent offensive weapon for the Raiders since, since, since.........

I won't speculate the with others as to why Zach left us, I can only hope the Raiders find a replacement tight end with three-quarters the toughness and producibility Zach exhibited.

There is no upside to losing a player like Zach Miller. The Raiders offense grew by leaps and bounds last season and Zach was a big part of it. Now we're left with a huge hole in our offensive arsenal and I feel we might find ourselves retuning to a one-dimensional running team.

Overall I'm as happy for Zach as I was for Nnamdi getting top dollar to play in Philly this season. But for reasons only a die-hard Raiders fan can understand, the blow from losing Zach has me wobbly and in need of a standing eight count to regroup.