Monthly Archives: October 2012

Kevin Love Shaved His Head!

Kevin Love, NBA player for the Minnesota Timberwolves, broke his right hand on October 17 doing knuckle push-ups in a morning workout. Kevin Love will be out for 6-8 weeks but he is not sitting around doing nothing. Earlier this week Kevin Love decided he would shave his head, but not just for fun. In thought of women everywhere going through chem0, Love did this because of breast cancer awareness.

Love asked the wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald to be his barber. Larry Fiztgerald was pleased to do this because he lost his mother to cancer 9 years ago. The two teamed up and filmed Kevin Love’s new look and together they posted this video. They will donate 25 cents to Brest Cancer charities for every video retweet and facebook “like”.


Fitzgerald said, “Kevin and I are here today to make sure nobody else has to lose a mother, a sister, a daughter to this disease.” So lets work together to share this, and make that happen.

Resources:

http://www.awolfamongwolves.com/2012/10/kevin-love-shaves-his-head-for-the-ladies/

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-400_162-57540541/watch-nba-star-kevin-love-shaves-head-to-support-breast-cancer-awareness/

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Delonte West Suspended Again!

News spread today that the Dallas Mavericks suspended Delonte West indefinitely for detrimental conduct. This is the second time in less than two weeks that West has been suspended from the team.

On October 15, 2012 the Mavericks suspended West for conduct detrimental to the team. That day the Dallas Mavericks played their first preseason game in Dallas beating the Houston Rockets 123-104. After the game, due to an outburst in the locker-room, West was suspended. The suspension only lasted less than 24 hours because West meet with president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson and head coach Rick Carlisle and they worked it out. Coach Carlisle said, “There was an outstanding issue, and we needed to talk about it.” West was there to play in the next preseason game on October 17 against the Phoenix Suns.

The Mavs seemed to be sure that whatever it was had been worked out and was in the process of being fixed. Carlisle said, “He needed to refocus, and he’s in the process of doing that. It’s going to be work. It’s going to be daily work for him to do that, and I’ve got to help him and our organization is going to help him, too. It’s not that big a deal.” Turns out he was wrong, or maybe this time it was something completely different, or didn’t have to do with West at all. Either way, West was suspended again.

West explained to ESPNDallas.com that he is being blamed for something he did not do. West said there was an argument between two teammates last night after the Mavs lost to the OKC 76-88, and the Mavs believed he had something to do with it. West said, “There was an argument between two teammates in the locker room last night that didn’t involve me. Somehow I’m being blamed for it. I had nothing to do with it. I don’t know what’s going on.” Then this morning West got a text telling him not to come to practice today. West turned to tweeter to tweet his thoughts.

In the past Delonte West has had run-ins with the law. In 2009 West was arrested for having multiple weapons on board a three-wheel motorcycle while driving. In result West was suspended by the NBA for 10 games, and was sentenced to house arrest for 8 months. Later that year it was revealed that West suffers from bipolar disorder. I do not know what it is like to be bipolar, but with all the negative attention his name gets all the time I can’t imagine it is easy for him while being in the NBA. But this issue has nothing to do with that.

Regardless of whatever West is going through off the court he is, in my opinion, an outstanding NBA player. I have seen West play, and every time he is on that court he gives it his all. West is not afraid to drive to the basket and can get the ball to the teammate that is open. He is great to watch. West has played on some of the best teams with some of the best players including LeBron James, Jason Kidd, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Dirk Nowitzki. West averages 9.7 points, 3.6 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. If West was not involved in the argument then I hope the Mavs will figure that out and reinstate West before the season starts.

Resources:

http://espn.go.com/dallas/nba/story/_/id/8550354/delonte-west-dallas-mavericks-suspended

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/early-lead/wp/2012/10/25/mavericks-suspend-delonte-west-indefinitely-again/

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Pink Penalty Flags!

Due to an 11-year-old’s letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, The NFL announced yesterday that the penalty flags will be pink for October. This idea will debut during the Dolphins vs. Jets game Sunday October 28th at 12:00 PM (CT).

The 11-year-old is Dante Cano from Marlboro, N.J. While watching football one day with his dad, Dante thought that having pink penalty flags might help raise awareness. Dante said, “I wanted to do it because it would raise awareness for breast cancer. I thought it would be a good addition to the other things that raise awareness for (the disease).”

When Goodell received the hand-written letter he read it, talked it over with the NFL, and made the announcement. Goodell also invited Dante and his family to the game to see the first NFL game to be played with pink penalty flags. He then asked Dante to be the one to present the flags to the officials before the game. In a conversation with the press Goodell said, “Dante had a great idea and I am looking forward to meeting with him on Sunday to put it into action. Sometimes the simplest ideas can be the best. I applaud Dante for sending in his recommendation.”

Dante’s parents are very proud of him for having the idea and following through with it. His mother, Laura Cano said, “He thought penalty flags would be the most visible thing to bring about awareness of breast cancer.” Mrs. Cano explained that no one in the family has breast cancer but Dante’s older sister, Nikki, has Aicardi Syndrome. Due to this syndrome, 14-year-old Nikki is unable to walk and talk, and is cognitively slow. Mrs. Cano believes that Dante is aware of the seriousness of breast cancer because he has seen his sister go through a lot.

Sunday will be an exciting day for the NFL, the Cano family, and for breast cancer awareness. What an amazing story. Dante had an idea and followed through with the encouragement of his family. Also I am pleased with the NFL for reading Dante’s letter and making it happen the way that they have. Thank you NFL and Thank you Dante Cano.

Resources:

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/24/sport/football-pink-flags/index.html

http://nflcommunications.com/2012/10/24/nfl-to-use-pink-penalty-flags-as-suggested-by-11-year-old-fan-for-dolphins-jets-game-on-sunday/

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8546579/nfl-use-pink-flags-dolphins-vs-jets

http://www.app.com/article/20121024/NJNEWS/310240103/Marlboro-boy-11-suggests-pink-penalty-flags-NFL-buys-in?odyssey=nav|head

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Ndamukong Suh’s ugly hit on Jay Culter

On Monday night the Chicago Bears beat the Detroit Lions with a 13-7 win. During the game Lions’ Ndamukong Suh completed a horrific sack on Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler.

In the 2nd quarter with less than 5 minutes left the Lions were down 10-0 and the Bears had the ball. Suh busted through the Bears’ offensive line just to get close enough to grab Cutler’s sleeve. With a sleeve in hand Suh pulled Cutler closer so he could then put his other arm on Cutler’s shoulder and slam him to the ground. The sack looked dangerous and had the potential to hurt Cutler badly. The referees did not call a penalty and claimed the sack was clean. Suh, of course, also believed his tackle was clean. Suh said, “Simply a football play. I can’t control my momentum, especially at that high speed. I’m chasing him. He’s running away from me. My whole goal is just to get the quarterback down and make a play and get us off the field or move on to the next play.”

After a few moments Cutler got back up and ran off the field. Culter seemed to be fine and was only diagnosed with bruised ribs during halftime. That sack could have resulted in much more and Cutler was very lucky. Bears coach Lovie Smith said, “Most people thought Jay would get up. Unless it’s a broken leg or something like that, he’s going to get up. He is a tough guy. That’s what you should have as your Chicago Bear quarterback and he does it time after time. He was in some pain, but he fought through.”

When the game was over quarterback Jay Culter and coach Lovie Smith seemed to not have any problems with the sack. Coach Smith said, “No one’s trying to hurt anyone or anything like that. It was just a tough, hard-nosed game.” Teammate Brandon Marshall, on the other hand, did have a problem with the sack and felt it was wrong. Marshall said, “Last night the leg whip that Ndamukong Suh placed on our quarterback Jay Cutler, that was dirty. That was dirty. He can be one of the best D-tackles that ever done it, but he cannot do that that way. If you look at it, c’mon man, this is not wrestling. You don’t do that. That’s not clean.”

Today Sports Center confirmed the sack was legal by tweeting, “The NFL has determined that @ndamukong_suh’s violent sack of Jay Cutler was a legal hit, a source tells ESPN’s Ed Werder.” Also in Brandon Marshall calls out Suh for hit, an article on ESPNChicago.com says, “It was considered a worthwhile review and a close decision because Cutler is afforded the protections against roughing the passer, even outside the pocket, but Suh did not drive him into the ground so the hit was determined to be legal, the source said.”

While watching the sac my hands clenched. I though Cutler was hurt, maybe a broken collar-bone or something. I am so thankful that he only had bruising from a hit like that. I do not think that was a legal sack and if it is then the league should change the rules on sacks. I know there is a fine line in the game of football and rules have changed so much so it has changed the game of football, but I can’t help feeling that sack could have had an awful ending. Yes accidents happen in football and No I don’t think Suh was intentionally trying to hurt Cutler, but that sack was scary and Cutler is very lucky.

Resources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/ct-spt-1023-bears-lions-chicago–20121023,0,4249262.story

http://espn.go.com/chicago/nfl/story/_/id/8540916/brandon-marshall-chicago-bears-calls-ndamukong-suh-detroit-lions-hit-jay-cutler

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Yankees in trouble with A-Rod in a slump

The New York Yankees are not looking good in the American League Conference Series (ALCS) against the Detroit Tigers. The Yankees started the postseason as the number 1 team in the AL and played in the division series against the wild card team, Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees barely got through that series winning game 5, 3-1. The Yankees moved on into the league conference series against the Detroit Tigers. The first two games were played in New York, but still the Yankees lost both of them. The Yankees also lost game 3 that was played in Detroit. The Yankees are down 0-3 and if they loss just one more game New York will be out of the 2012 playoffs.

New York is really struggling and is in need of all their star players to be at their best, but Alex Rodriguez is nowhere to be found. A-Rod has not been good this whole post season. Rodriguez is the highest paid baseball player, about 24 million a year, in the MLB and is currently in one of the worst slumps of all. Rodriguez is 0-for-18 with 12 strikeouts. Yankees Manager Joe Girardi decided to bench Rodriguez in game 5 against Baltimore. Showing that he was not happy with the decision but understood it, Rodriguez told media, “Obviously, I’m not happy and, you know, I was disappointed. You want to be in there in the worst way. But I keep telling you guys, this is not a story about one person; this is about a team. We have some unfinished business. Our objective is to win one game and keep this thing moving.” In this 2012 MLB post season Rodriguez was only in the starting lineup 2 of the last 5 games.

Yet Rodriguez does not seem to be worried about his slump, and at times does not seem to be focused on the game at all. During the ALCS game 1 Rodriguez was seen flirting with a fan. In the 9th inning of the playoff game he was successful in getting this fan’s phone number after signing a ball with a note and giving it to her. The fan was bikini model Kyna Treacy. Ted Leuzarder, a fan that witnessed A-Rod’s act, said, “I originally thought it was the ballboy who was trying to get the numbers, since the girls did look a little young — even for A-Rod.” Ted continued to express he was “not amused.”

A-Rod better get his head back into the game and better start focusing on how he is going to get out of this slump to help his team or the New York Yankees are going to get swept today in game 4. The New York Yankees are paying A-Rod way too much money for him to be so care free during games. A-Rod has 5 more years left on his contract and with his slump being so bad there are already talks about how New York should trade him. I don’t think A-Rod will continue his slump, but I do think the Yankees are done in this post season. I believe the Yankees will keep A-Rod this off-season and see how he does next year.

Resources:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/rod_ballgirl_red_hot_bod_xCukvkWEtKsGdycIMse1PM

http://maboot.com/alex-rodriguez-tries-to-make-time-with-aussie-bikini-model-kyna-treacy/

http://espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/story/_/id/8495045/alex-rodriguez-new-york-yankees-benched-amid-slump-game-5-vs-baltimore-orioles

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/joe_lemire/10/18/arod-game-4/index.html

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Philadelphia Eagles Fire Juan Castillo

Today the Philadelphia Eagles announced the firing of their defensive coordinator Juan Castillo.

Juan Castillo started his career with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1995 as an offensive assistant. In 1997 Castillo was promoted to the tight ends coach, and one year later became the Eagles offensive line coach. Castillo was the offensive line coach till after the 2010 season, then the organization moved him to defensive coordinator. Castillo spent his whole career with the offensive side, so moving him to defense cause a lot of concern.

Last season the Eagles defense stated off with no chemistry. The defense was not good until late in the season and the Eagles ended with a discouraging 8-8 record. But somehow the Eagles’ defense leaded the NFL in sacks with a total of 50.

This season the Eagles started off looking somewhat good. Philadelphia began with three wins and only one loss in their first four games with the defense obtaining seven sacks in the first three games. Then everything went back downhill. The team continued on to lose the next two games and the defense has not made any sacks in the last three. The defense has been missing important stops, and they hardly seem motivated. On Sunday October 14, 2012 the Eagles lost in overtime to the Detroit Lions after having a 10-point lead in the 4th, now making their record 3-3.

To watch highlights from the Eagles vs. Lions game click here.

Eagles head coach Andy Reid said, “We’re six games into the season and average isn’t good enough. I know the potential of our team and insist on maximizing it.” Reid felt it was time for the team to make some changes. In his statement Reid said, “This was my decision and my decision alone.” Reid decided to begin with firing Juan Castillo.

Coach Reid said, “He has served this organization extremely well for 18 years and letting him go was a difficult decision. I know he will continue to be a successful coach in this league and wish he and his family nothing but the best.”

Castillo was replaced with the Eagles secondary coach Todd Bowles. Bowles was with the Dolphins’ last year and then came to the Eagles during the offseason.

I agree the Eagles need to make a change and firing Castillo, I believe, will prove to be a good move. Juan Castillo was not succeeding on defense. I disagree with the fact that Castillo was ever moved to defensive coordinator given all of his experience being with the offensive, and I am also not so sure that this should have been the Eagles first move. The Eagles offense has not been going well either. The offensive line is struggling to stay strong and have been allowing players to get by to sack their quarterback, Michael Vick. Vick has not been a star either with already 8 turnovers, and has lost 5 fumbles. Not Good! Maybe the Eagles next change needs to be somewhere in their offense.

Resources:

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8511166/juan-castillo-fired-philadelphia-eagles

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/peter_king/10/16/juan-castillo-fired/index.html

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gclnxKql58a1BcHRT0eNXP37Ik4A?docId=226a551f715549139e442afb4d9365aa

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MLB Postseason 101

MLB postseason starts when the regular season games (162 games) are over, usually in the first week of October. October baseball, also known as the “Fall Classic”, is some of the best baseball there is. But how do you know which teams get to play in the postseason? And what is a wild card?

To fully understand which teams get to play in the postseason, you need to understand the MLB Standings. Read MLB Standings 101.

Postseason teams:

When the regular season games are over, each teams’ win-loss record will show who gets to play in the postseason. Looking at the MLB Standings, the team with the best record in each division is guaranteed a spot in the postseason. This is a total of 6 teams, 3 in each league. There are also two wild card teams chosen from each league. After the 3 guaranteed teams are taken out of the league, the next two teams with the best record in each league will be the wild card teams in the postseason.

For example this is the MLB division standings after the 2012 season:

According to the 2012 standings, the guaranteed postseason teams are the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Oakland Athletics (As) in the American League; and the Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds, and San Francisco Giants in the National League. The wild card teams in the American League are the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers having a record of 93-69. In the National League the wild card teams will be the Atlanta Braves with the record of 94-68, and the St. Louis Cardinals with a 88-74 record.

Tiebreakers:

If there are any tied records the teams will play a tiebreaker game to claim a spot in the postseason. If both teams will contain a postseason spot regardless and a tiebreaker game is not necessary, then a list of tiebreakers will be taken into account to determine which team contains the higher spot. The tiebreakers are:

  1. Head-to-head winning percentage during the regular season / series winner – This is the team that won the most regular season games when the two teams played each other.
  2. Higher winning percentage in intradivision games – The team with the best winning percentage in their own division. In other words the team that won the most regular season games played against other teams in their own division.
  3. Higher winning percentage in the last half of intraleague games – The team with the best winning percentage in their league during the last half of the season. In other words the team that won the most regular season games played in the last half of the season against teams in the same league.
  4. Higher winning percentage in the last half plus one intraleague game, provided that such additional game was not between the two tied clubs. Continue to go back one intraleague game at a time until the tie has been broken. – The team with the highest percentage of wins in the last half of the regular season, including the last game of the first half of the season played against a team in the same league. These games do not include any games the two tied teams played against each other in the regular season. If the teams are still tied 1 intraleague game will be added to the percentage until the tie is broken. (Tiebreakers were taken from MLB.com with my explanations)

Home-Field Advantage:

The home-field advantage is given to the team with the higher record. This means the team with the higher record will get more games played on their home field than the team with the smaller record. If the two teams are tied then the list of tiebreakers will be used to determine which team will get home field advantage. But as the series progress the home-field advantage rules change. I will explain as I explain each series in the Postseason Series section.

Postseason Matchups:

First, each league will play the teams in their own league until only one team in left. Then that team will play the team of the other league in the final series of the postseason. For each league, the team with the best record will take the 1st seed, the second best record is the 2nd seed and the 3rd best record will have the 3rd seed. To start the postseason the two wild cards in each league will play one another. The winner of that game will move on to the first full round of the MLB playoffs. The wild card team will play the 1st seed, and the 2nd seed will play the 3rd.

To further understand the matchups here is a look at the 2012 bracket before the postseason started:

Postseason Series:

There are 4 series/rounds in the MLB postseason:

  1. Wild Card – The two wild card teams in each division will play each other in 1 game, a winner-take-all game. This game will take place on the home field of the team with the higher record. The winner of that game will move on to the division series.
  2. Division Series: American League Division Series (ALDS) and National League Division Series (NLDS) – The 1st seed team will play the wild card team, and the 2nd seed will play the 3rd seed in a best-of-five series. The first team to win 3 games will advance to the league conference series. The home-field advantage is given to the team with the higher record. There are two different formats to play this series, 2-2-1 or 2-3. Usually it is the 2-2-1 format where the team with home-field advantage will host games 1, 2 and 5; and the other team will host games 3 and 4. This year, 2012, the format was changed to 2-3. The 2-3 format is when the team with home-field advantage will host games 3, 4, and 5; and the opposing team will host games 1 and 2.
  3. Conference Series: American League Conference Series (ALCS) and National League Conference Series (NLCS) – The two teams in each league will play each other in a best-of-seven series. This means the first team to win 4 games will progress to the World Series. In this series the home-field advantage is given to the team with the higher record unless a wild card team has advanced and is playing a division winning team with a lower record, in which the home-field advantage is given to the division winning team. This series is played in a 2-3-2 format. The team with home-field advantage will host games 1, 2, 6, and 7; while the opposing team hosts games 3, 4, and 5.
  4. World Series Championship – the conference series winners, or league winners, will play each other in a best-of-seven series played in the same 2-3-2 format. The first team to win 4 games will be the season champions. In this series the home-field advantage is given to the league that won the All-Star game played earlier that year. The team with home-field advantage will host games 1, 2, 6, and 7; while the opposing team hosts games 3, 4, and 5.

The winner of the World Series is the Championship team for that season. The winners are presented with the Commissioner’s Trophy after the last game is played.

Resources:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/standings/postseasonpicture.jsp

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/standings/

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120907&content_id=38029316&vkey=news_mlb_nd&c_id=mlb

http://baseball.about.com/od/seasonstructur1/tp/playoffsformat.htm

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120907&content_id=38029316&vkey=news_mlb_nd&c_id=mlb

http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/schedule/index.jsp?c_id=bal#y=2012&m=10&calendar=DEFAULT

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