Deflect Gate – by Todd Vandenberg

As in, “I won’t cooperate, I won’t provide any texts or emails, I’ll deflect all the blame I can.”

Good plan, Tom. It’s kinda working, too.

The consensus response from Patriots fans and Brady fans has been predictable, and sad. (Full disclosure; I’m a Dolphins fan, but have always liked and respected Tom Brady). I’ve read statements like “Framegate”, “It’s just circumstantial evidence”, “He didn’t need deflated balls in the Super Bowl”, etc., etc. Continue reading “Deflect Gate – by Todd Vandenberg”

Pacquiao’s Policy of Truthiness by Lee Vowell

I am a hypocrite. I like boxing. I always have. I hate violence. I always have. The fact that I enjoy sanctioned violence is hypocritical. But still, I like boxing and I cannot seem to stop. I used to be in Gold Gloves when I was a teenager. I liked it. The thought of actually hitting someone with my fists repulses me, though. I hope I never have to do it. But I don’t mind watching other people getting paid to do it well. I am a hypocrite. So is boxing. The sport is there for the athletes who box well to make lots of money. Then the sport turns on itself as it has since the Floyd Mayweather and (allegedly) Manny Pacquiao match this past Saturday. Lawsuit after lawsuit from all kinds of people and angles, trying to chip away at those people involved in a match that made at least $300 million. Saturday’s match could have put boxing back in the public view of entertainment sports, but almost immediately the business of boxing reminded everyone why it fell from the graces of the sports-minded public in the first place: it’s a dirty, backstabbing and cruel business. I like boxing. Boxing hates itself. Continue reading “Pacquiao’s Policy of Truthiness by Lee Vowell”

“Some Hall of Fame Candidates” by Todd Vandenberg

On the most recent (and typically brilliant) edition of Baseball Beer and BBQ, I was lucky enough to join the fellas – said gentlemen being Mr. Fabulous, also known as Ted, and The Sexy God, known in some circles as Lee. As they refuse to acknowledge my chosen sobriquet, Manfred the Wonder Dog, I have settled for Mr. Irrelevant. Continue reading ““Some Hall of Fame Candidates” by Todd Vandenberg”

“Say it Ain’t So, Brock”

From the desk of The Corporation

Okay, so maybe you live in a cave – or you only care about real things, like Baseball, Beer and Barbecue – but for the sake of argument, I’ll admit you may not follow our strange hybrid industry know as “Sports Entertainment”. For example, you’ve got the North American Twerking Association, the Professional Comedy Rodeo circuit, and the Big Kahuna: WWE, or World Wrestling Entertainment. Sure, WWE is the best known. They’ve been around since 1952, and they’re currently valued at just over a billion dollars; you’d think they’d know a little bit about business. Funny thing is, what most people think about their business is wrong; see, it isn’t wrestling (or wrasslin’, for the yokels); the core business, the real business, is promotion. They put together drama, comedy, and the occasional in-ring action to create the product, what the ham and eggers watch; but what sells is the hype. It’s all about the backstage machinations, the feuds, the promos. Without all the storylines, it’s NCAA wrestling, and who watches that? Nobody. With professional wrestling, it’s more about the sizzle than the steak. Hell, it’s all sizzle. Continue reading ““Say it Ain’t So, Brock””

3 x 5 American League West Preview by Lee Vowell and Todd Vandenberg

American League West Questions

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Houston Astros

Question: Were the seasons of SPs Dallas Keuchel (2.93 ERA, led the league with 5 complete games and winning a Gold Glove) and Collin McHugh (McHugh: 1.02 WHIP and 2.73 ERA) flukes? Or is this team on the precipice of something great? Continue reading “3 x 5 American League West Preview by Lee Vowell and Todd Vandenberg”

3 x 5 AL Central Preview by Lee Vowell and Todd Vandenberg

American League Central Questions

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Chicago White Sox

Question: The White Sox made a lot of moves this offseason, adding Jeff Samardzija, David Robertson, Adam LaRoche, Melky Cabrera, Zach Duke and Dan Jennings, among others. How much better, if at all, do you think they will be? Continue reading “3 x 5 AL Central Preview by Lee Vowell and Todd Vandenberg”

“Suh Me – I Am Not A Fan” By Todd Vandenberg

First, I’m not going to apologize for writing about football on the BB&B blog. I’m sure Ndamukong Suh has eaten plenty of barbeque and drunk plenty of beer – or if he hasn’t, he could. And now he’ll be getting his fill in Miami with the Dolphins. And I am not happy about that, at all.

I am indeed a Dolphin fan, have been since before the glory days of the early ’70’s. Back in those first glory days, the Fins were known for a tough, swarming defense, anchored by guys like Manny Fernandez and Nick Buoniconti. In the 80’s they had the Killer B’s, with Bob Baumhower, the Blackwood brothers, and non-B (but definitely killer) A.J. Duhe. And now Miami has added a guy with the chance to be their best defensive player ever in Ndamukong Suh. Continue reading ““Suh Me – I Am Not A Fan” By Todd Vandenberg”

3 x 5 AL East Preview by Todd Vandenberg and Lee Vowell

American League East Questions

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Baltimore Orioles

Question: So many other teams made moves to get better this offseason. The Orioles were good last year, lost players in free agency and seemingly did nothing to replace them. What were the Orioles thinking? Continue reading “3 x 5 AL East Preview by Todd Vandenberg and Lee Vowell”

3 x 5 National League West Preview

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NL West Questions

Arizona Diamondbacks

Question: This team was awful last season, however they have successful experience in management in the persons of Dave Stewart and Tony La Russa. How long does it take for the Diamondbacks to be competitive in the West again? Continue reading “3 x 5 National League West Preview”

3 x 5 NL Central Preview by Todd Vandenberg and Lee Vowell

Three questions for each team and Predictions

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Chicago Cubs

Question: How much will Jon Lester improve this team?

Lee: Over the last seven years, Lester has averaged a 4 WAR. Lester will improve the Cubs. He’s a definite number one. The problem won’t be his value, but it might be difficult to determine his specific value based on the young Cubs improving across the board. If Javier Baez and Jorge Soler, etc., progress as expected the whole team will be much improved, and not just on Lester’s start day. Lester will anchor the staff, though, and his leadership and experience might have even more value off the field.

Todd: You can look at it through sabermetric glasses: Jon’s total WAR for 2014 was 4.5, so he adds 4 or 5 wins to the Cubs. He isn’t replacing their best pitcher, he’s replacing their fifth.  Lester brings them 6 wins, I’d say. And that can be huge in this division. Continue reading “3 x 5 NL Central Preview by Todd Vandenberg and Lee Vowell”