Hit and Run: I Was There Edition

I moved and changed jobs almost simultaneously this spring. As a result, I’m off the academic schedule for the first time in over a decade and it’s throwing off my whole concept of summer. So Tuesday night I went to check on the Cardinals score and discovered, to my dismay, that they had just finished one of the two games they are playing in NYC that I could actually attend.  Luckily, they were playing the Mets, which isn’t exactly a tough ticket to get at the last minute these days. So Wednesday night, my boyfriend and I headed out to Citifield, where around the actual game action, my blog post wrote itself.

First off — paper all star ballots!  Nostalgia!  Also, once we had established that I somehow didn’t have a writing implement in my purse, we discovered that the plug end of a pair of headphones is actually the perfect tool for punching the holes out of the ballot.

allstarballot2013

The hardest part about filling these out was trying to remember who was on the disabled list, particularly in the AL. (That’s not a Yankees joke — entirely.)  Then we put them in the ballot box to be buried under everyone’s 35-per-person internet ballots. I’m still looking forward to the All-Star Game if only because I was out of town when it was at old Yankee the last time, and since both the marathon and Fleet Week were canceled this past year, we’ve been lacking in the crowds-of-people-in-uniforms-descending-on-the-city-to-be-ogled department.

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Just before the 7th inning stretch, this happened.  The crowd seemed primarily delighted, with an undercurrent of bemusement.  I certainly think Kidd can handle the in-game/practice side of coaching, but I’m a little unsure how the front office/roster building side is going to go, especially with a front office that can be …mercurial.

The scoreboard proved a great source of entertainment throughout the game.  The consensus in our section was that Matt Holliday has the saddest media photo ever.

sadmattholliday

My boyfriend’s comment: “That’s totally an ‘I’m going to go 0-4 and we’ll lose by 5,’ face.”  So perhaps he’s not sad, he’s just psychic.

Also appearing on the CitiField board, periodic Stanley Cup Final updates!  I didn’t get a picture, but the updates piqued my interest enough that even though the 2 hour and 40 minute game time got us home well before 11, we then stayed up past 1 watching the 6th longest Stanley Cup game in history.

2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game One

Happy Friday! Anyone else going to a game this weekend?

Two Short, Unrelated Anecdotes Tangentially Related To Current Sports News

Metcard

1. A few days ago, Paul Lukas posted about the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s suprisingly robust baseball card collection. I was surprised as many people — even more so because until a month ago, I worked less than 100 yards* from said collection, and my employer had a close working relationship with the Met (though the Burdick collection would have been considered “shiny new toys” by most of my coworkers).  I probably could have even wrangled those connections to get an up close and personal view like Lukas — or at least, get in to see the part of the collection currently on display for free. Ah well. Guess I’ve found a reason to go visit the old neighborhood (especially since the Honus Wagner card is going back on display soon). For now, I’ll just browse the collection online.

2.It was March of 2006, and my entire family was in Memphis for my cousin’s wedding.  It was an evening wedding, so the day of, those of us not in the wedding party did some sight seeing. Naturally, we went to the Peabody Hotel to see the ducks. Just as we started making our way towards the door, my (then college-age, sports journalism major) brother yelped “hey, that’s Bernie Bickerstaff!”  I looked up to see a stream of extremely tall men in Charlotte Bobcats warm ups filing through the door, on their way back from morning shootaround before their game against the Grizzlies that night.  My brother, who still would consider an NBA play by play gig his dream job, named off every player as they came through the door (I only recognized Brevin Knight and Sean May).  As we left the hotel and walked up the street, he was practically bouncing. “Man, that was so cool!” he said. Then he paused. “Too bad it was the Bobcats.”

If that does not sum up the Bobcats era of Charlotte basketball, I don’t know what would.  Here’s hoping reclaiming the Hornets resurrects a bit of their dignity.

*I just spent about 10 minutes trying to think of a good baseball distance analogy and gave up. It is Friday of a three day weekend and I haven’t had even a sick day off work since February. Brain. Fried.

Who do we love? Kevin Durant, David Robertson and WVU Baseball

First off, we send our love and thoughts and prayers to all affected by the events of the past few days (I say “days” knowing that other states have been reeling from these terrible storms). Knowing that we have team members with close ties to Oklahoma, I cannot begin to imagine how difficult this has been, and as such, I find it hard to post about anything cheerfully sporty under the circumstances. But to paraphrase the great Fred Rogers, when terrible things happen, you look for the helpers. Here’s a few worth mentioning today: Continue reading

5 Reasons the NBA Playoffs Are Delightful

Apologies if you saw the beginning of this last night – I’m still not sure how touching a post marked “local draft” in the WordPress app made it publish, but here’s the full version.

We have been watching a LOT of NBA Playoffs at my house. It started because we were checking on the Knicks and the Thunder (uh, and the Nets- we have a lot of basketball allegiances) and yet “hey is a game on tonight?” has become a common refrain.  There’s just so many things I find delightful this year. Here are five of them.

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Another reason why firsts matter: Jason Collins

I was chatting with the other Ladies… this morning about how I was ready to post tonight on Don Cherry’s Saturday night rant about how women reporters don’t belong in the locker room. Then Jason Collins happened, we all got weepy at our workplaces, and I decided it would be more fun to reflect on the progress of the human race then a loudmouthed former coach defending the likes of Duncan Keith with a patronizing attitude towards women.

(Photo: SI.com)

(Photo: SI.com)

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Friday Fellow(s): Feeling Good

We’re going literal this week: it’s Friday, and there are some fellows in the basketball world who are feeling (and looking) pretty good.  Feel free to click the above for a soundtrack appropriate to the coming joy…

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How the NBA Seduced Me Over My Morning Coffee (and What MLB Could Learn From It)

How adorable is it that this is his Twitter profile photo?

Not *that( kind of seduction, Tyson. I’m not going to complain about the tux, though.

A funny thing happened on my slog through the baseball offseason: I fell back in love with the NBA.  Well, maybe “in love” is too strong — let’s say we’re having a “friends with benefits” relationship while my one true love is studying abroad in the Carribbean. In any event I can list the teams in playoff contention in both conferences off the top of my head, or note that the Hornets have gone on a bit of a run since Eric Gordon came back, or chortle through the latest episode of Lakers’ schadenfreude with an enthusiasm I haven’t felt since the Jordan era.  How did this happen?

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Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 15: Derrick Rose

derrick-rose-300x430

Alright. I have a crush. I haven’t really been a big NBA fan, but after attending my very first game on December 7th at the shiny new Barclay’s Center to see the Golden State Warriors take the Brooklyn Nets down, I’ve decided that I both enjoy basketball and should pay closer attention. And after researching what basketball players are great AND hot, I discovered that I apparently have just a huge stupid little kid crush on Derrick Rose. I can’t be alone here.

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Ladies Links: It Must Be Witchcraft Edition

Exact quote from the Tigers radio announcers at the bottom of the 4th (after CC was removed):

“Well, we’re back in Detroit and this is uh, this is uh, [laughs] this is something.”

Also, in case you forgot (I did), this is Max Scherzer:

And yes there is nothing actually wrong with people with heterochromia, but it does somehow seem like a symptom of how cursed this ALCS has been for the Yankees that they spent half their elimination looking completely helpless at the hands of a guy who might have been considered a witch a few centuries back. (Sorry, Bee!)

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Ladies Links: Rafa Hearts Real Madrid

I am having the world’s craziest work week (Wednesday’s job duties  ran the gamut from making a caprese salad to coordinating logistics with a Fox News film crew) and so this will have to be a links post.  However, as I began writing this post I had no good picture to jazz things up a little.  And then, through the power of serendipity, I stumbled onto a little slideshow called “Rafael Nadal Cheers At A Soccer Match.”  And thus my day and, I hope, yours, is saved.  Unless you are a Machester City fan, I suppose.

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Five for Friday: Superstar Owners

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Smoldering Justin is everybody’s favourite Justin

Remember when Justin Timberlake was a musician? Neither do I. But according to this report, he’ll soon be adding “Memphis Grizzlies co-owner” to his list of roles which currently include actor, SNL quasi-regular, and Jessica Biel arm candy. That’s great. So instead of recording a followup already to 2006′s Futuresex/Love Sounds we’ll have to settle for seeing his mug at Grizzlies games.

(Hey, it’s a good pop album.)

Timberlake isn’t the first celebrity investor to pour truckloads of cash into a sports franchise, however ill-advised it can be. Here’s five more that come to mind:
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Sports and Media Pop Quiz!

OK, lovely readers.  I, an American resident with broadband internet but no cable television, was following four major sporting events last night.  Which one of the following was I NOT able to follow through live internet streaming?

A. 

St. Louis Cardinals versus Houston Astros: In which the Cards got a much needed win, despite 3 errors, thanks to a brilliant fielding play by Daniel Descalso.

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Ladies Links: T-Minus 2 Months Edition

There are less than 2 months until the London Olympics people: today’s links start with another great slideshow of Team USA (distance runner Barnard Legat is just a sample).  Hat tip to The Hairpin, whose staff are clearly our Olympic soulmates.

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Caption This: NBA Fun Times

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

(Photo: Getty Images)

Hope everyone had a relaxing Memorial Day Weekend! Perhaps you wrapped up your holiday by tuning into Game 1 of the NBA East Final last night. In case you missed it…well, you weren’t alone. The Celtics missed it too. They were trounced 93-79 by the Miami Heat. However, the game produced a few memorable moments, notably this one. If you ever wondered how much Lebron douchebaggery could be contained in one photo, the answer is this much.

Yes, the long weekend is fun but it’s time to get your clever brain back in gear. See what you can come up with, caption-wise. Best answer gets…golf claps from all of us.

Three Day Weekend Sports Extravaganza!

With apologies to the Canadian residents among us, we are standing at the brink of not just a three day weekend, but a three day weekend of potentially epic sporting events. This includes at least one (and possibly two) Rangers-Devils playoff games, which means there is a Henrik Lundqvist picture in this post! Come look at the games you can stay up late to watch and not have to worry about being groggy at work the next day.

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Thanks, Tyson Chandler

Last weekend, while watching the Knicks pull out their one playoff victory over the Heat, I realized that I had barely spoken about my newly discovered love for Tyson Chandler.  I enjoyed Linsanity, of course, and I still think the New York media should cut Melo a break, but I was raised on the bruising, defensive basketball of the Big Eight and Big XII — a true defensive star is always going to catch my eye. Although, there are other reasons for Tyson to catch my eye, which I will be happy to share with you while I gush.

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Hit and Run: Time Flies Edition

Since the Cardinals played the Opening Night game on ESPN this year, on actual Opening Day I had my pick of games on MLB.tv.  By the time I got home from work, the Indians and Blue Jays were tied in the 9th inning. “Oh, I’ll just watch this quick dramatic conclusion,” I thought.  Then it turned out to be the longest Opening Day game ever played.  It went on so long, in fact, that the benches for both teams saw a lot of work.  Which brought in Omar Vizquel. Who yesterday turned 45.

A longtime Indian now with Toronto, Vizquel got a warm round of applause from the Cleveland fans both when he was first inserted as a defensive replacement, and later when the game went on long enough to give him an at bat.  In an MLB where players my age are now considered on the far side of their prime, and where many of his contemporaries are now mangers, Vizquel’s longevity is both remarkable and jarring.  (Related: Chipper Jones turned 40 the same day. Chipper. Jones. is 40.)

Other sports news properly introduced with “it seems like only yesterday….”

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Sports Developments That Don’t Make Me Want To Throw My Laptop Against The Wall

Let’s see, my beloved Sooner women’s basketball team lost a heartbreaker Tuesday, then yesterday there was You-Know-Who to the Jets, oh, and you might remember my boyfriend’s a Saints fan… it’s been a frustrating sports week.

Here are three things making me happy.

1. Brittany Griner and the Baylor Women’s Basketball Team. I suppose I should hate them since they smoked my girls twice this year, but they’ve smoked everyone this year (at 36-0, their margin of victory was in the single digits only 4 times; 3 of those victories were over Tennessee, UConn, and defending champion Texas A&M).  The Bears, and star player Brittany Griner, are so good that you can’t help admiring their skill.  I know accusing ESPN of bias is nothing new, but let’s just say that if this team had “UConn” on their jerseys we’d be hearing a lot of “Best Women’s Team Ever” talk out of Bristol.  Do yourselves a favor and check out one of their tourney games in the next couple of weeks.

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Welcome to Linsanity, or Living in New York when the Knicks are Actually Winning

I had planned to spend this week’s post reviewing an awesome book on baseball I received for Christmas (I will post it next week right before pitches & catchers report – yay!).  However, I live in New York City, and there is one sports story everyone is talking about this week.  No, not the Giants.  The Knicks.  More specifically, Jeremy Lin.

You don’t have to live here very long to learn that, although New Yorkers like football (especially if one of the teams is winning), this city truly lives for baseball in the spring and summer and basketball in the winter.  And while the Yankees have to split the city with the Mets, the Knicks (for one more season, at least) are in many ways the only sports team the entire city can get behind.  Unfortunately, as long as I’ve been here, they’ve also been mediocre at best, or flat out terrible at worst.

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Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 20

I’m the farthest thing from an NBA fan, but we realized we’ve neglected those of you in our fanbase that find their hotties with big biceps and long shorts.

And since he’s been in the news so much lately, today’s hottie is recently named Los Angeles Clipper Chris Paul.

I don’t want to break any Hornets fans hearts, so I tried to steer away from the shots of him in New Orleans gear. I hope that hopes a little.

Turns out Paul wears a mean suit and isn’t afraid to flash the pearly whites. Follow the jump for some long overdue basketball love.

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Hit and Run: Things Which Are Ridiculous

 I wanted to watch Game 4 of the Stanley Cup last night, but couldn’t, because it was on Versus, which I don’t have. (NBC opted for Celebrity Minute To Win It, with Steve-O and some other guy from Jackass. If that’s a bigger ratings draw than the Stanley Cup, the NHL still has a lot of work to do.)

I believe I have made my displeasure about playoff games being on cable channels known before, but I still find it ridiculous.  So since I’m battling some serious writer’s block, here are other things which I am finding ridiculous today.
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Mr. Monday: Kevin Durant

Thunder
Since it’s been all of five months since we did a post on Kevin Durant, we thought it was time for another montage of the Thunder’s forward. Never mind, of course, that he led Oklahoma City to a Game 7 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday with a stellar postseason offensive performance (39 points!) The team will return to the West final for the first time in 15 years when they were the celebrated Seattle (Super)Sonics. It won’t be an easy task, mind you: they’re facing the Mavs. But aren’t you glad to see a West final that doesn’t include Kobe for a change?

More Durant deliciousness and your Monday music fix after the jump.

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Vacation Hangover Links

I’ve been back from my vacation in New Orleans* for about 48 hours now, and I’m not entirely adjusted, so please enjoy these links.  Somehow they are all about baseball, but that wasn’t intentional.

*The picture above was taken on my vacation.  That’s New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams 2nd from left, with the GM and President of the franchise, appearing at Jazzfest. I was a little disappointed that no players appeared with them, but Monty Williams is quite nice looking in person.

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Great Eight: The Memphis Grizzlies

If a miracle 3 pointer hadn’t saved the Spurs last night, this post would have been a celebration of the Memphis Grizzlies unlikely domination of the #1 seed in the Western Conference. Not only have 8 seeds won NBA playoff series only two previous times in history, the Grizzlies, in both their Memphis and Vancouver incarnations, had never won a playoff game before this series.

So it’s now 3-2, and still possible the Spurs (being the Spurs) could pull off two more wins and restore numerical sanity to the playoffs.  Regardless, Memphis has been entertaining to watch … and not too shabby in still pictures, either! Perfect for trying out our new gallery capabilities.

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Hit & Run: Quick as a Bunny Edition

bunny

For those of you who observed Easter this weekend, we hope you had a wonderful time with family and friends and avoided eating your weight in ham and chocolate (um, unlike me.) Here’s a quick look at what you may have missed over your three-or-four day weekend.

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It’s Almost Friday

Actually, for those of you who work in businesses dependent on the stock market or religiously inclined to give you Good Friday off, it may technically be Friday.  (This would include both CuteSports’s and my significant others, but we are not bitter at about it at all, nope.)  Anyway, I had planned to write about actually watching all three NBA playoff games yesterday, but I am struggling to form coherent sentences at this point, and all I can really remember about yesterday’s games is thinking the Thunder’s Serge Ibaka needed to be on this blog.  So, here you go:

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Take Us Out to the (Basket)Ball Game: The Ladies… Do Madison Square Garden

I almost didn’t make it to Wednesday’s Knicks-Hornets game.  First, I had it down on my calendar for Thursday.  Then there was the massive sinus attack that had me spending most of Wednesday afternoon lying flat on my back to keep my head from spinning. At 5:30, I was convinced my immune system had betrayed me. Luckily, the decongestant finally kicked in about half an hour later and I began to feel, if not perfectly healthy, at least capable of sitting upright and watching basketball for a few hours.

It was definitely worth it.  I had been to Madison Square Garden before, but never for a basketball game.  And particularly not a basketball game featuring Amare (over there on the left), Chris Paul, the newly arrived Carmelo, and a surprise mystery guest.  More pictures and details after the jump!

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