Part 1 of my dozonlife MLB Preview featured the teams that I think have 0.00% chance of winning the World Series or even making the playoffs.
Part 2 is the middle of the pack teams that probably won't contend, but have a slight chance of making the playoffs. Again they are just bunched together, no real rankings yet. These teams in my mind have a chance to someone contend. Probably won't but I'm not completely writing them off like the first group.
Teams That I Have No Idea What to Expect
Now I don't expect the Twins to make the playoffs. But for most of the season last year they were playing .500 ball. Manager Paul Molitor got a lot out of the talent he had available, as they won 84 games. They don't have great pitching but this team surprised last year. I probably could have had them on part 1 but I'd give the Twins like a 7% chance at stealing a Wild-Card spot. They added Korean player Byung Ho Park who could be a big surprise this season. Hopefully Joe Mauer is healthy and himself this year, it's impossible to root against a guy like him. A real pro's pro.
Chicago White Sox
The AL Central is weird. Much like the East, almost no order of teams would shock me. I hate the White Sox. They are not the Sox, the Red Sox are the Sox and it drives me crazy when they are referred to as the Sox. As much as I irrationally hate this team I do think they have some legit talent. Chris Sale is one of the best pitchers in the American League. Jose Abreu is a beast. This team could finish 2nd or 5th in the AL Central though and it wouldn't shock me.
With players like Miguel Cabrera, Justin Upton, Ian Kinsler, J.D. Martinez, and Victor Martinez on offense the Tigers should be able to score some runs. From 2011-2014 the Tigers won the AL Central every year and were always one of the best teams in baseball but were unable to win the World Series. I still can't believe the got swept in 2014 when they were starting Verlander, Price and Scherzer.
A lot of guys from those teams are gone and Justin Verlander is no longer the stud ace he used to be. IF he can rebound and pitch like it's 2012 the Tigers could compete in the American League but this team is full of question marks. I've said it with a ton of teams but I honestly don't know what to expect from the Tigers. A lot of experts think this team will finish under .500 but I'm not gonna complete write off the Tigers yet.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Two words: Mike Trout.
This Angels roster is nothing special, but they have the best player in baseball in Mike Trout. Many baseball experts think this team is wasted Trout's prime by having a subpar roster around him. I too kind of agree. The Angels did make the most underrated move of the off season however, they signed OF Daniel Nava. Expect a big bounce back in 2016 for Nava. They still have Pujols as well who had a nice year in 2015. The key to the Angels season will be starting pitching and how will Garret Richards do in 2016. I expect the Angels to finish the season right around .500
Tampa Bay Rays
Another small market team with limited resources, the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rays roster on paper sucks but the Rays always have no name guys that always find a way to produce. They have a legit ace in Chris Archer and a lot of other young talent like always. After they lost manager Joe Maddon to the Cubs I thought the Rays would go away and we'd never hear from them again but they are still always in the mix. I hate the Rays and think they'll finish 4th in the AL East but it they some how hit lightning in a bottle it wouldn't shock me.
Opening Day is Monday but there are games Sunday too. Baseball is trying to stretch out the festivities as long as possible. Theres just something special about opening day. Even if MLB is trying to turn it into opening week. Whatever, whenever it starts, basically is back. I for one and very excited. Unlike most people my age, I LOVE baseball. I love knowing that pretty much everyday for the next 6 months I'll be able to watch the Red Sox play. There are a lot of great story lines across baseball this year and tons of uncertainty. I can't wait.
Before I started blogging every year on Facebook or Twitter I post my projected standings and playoff predictions for the MLB season. Now that I have dozonlife I can do that but also go a little bit more in depth.
Teams with NO Chance of Making of the Playoffs
These teams have no chance at all to be successful in 2016. There is no order here, they all are equally trash.
It wasn't that long ago where the Phillies were the class of the National League. With a solid infield of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins the Phillies won the NL East every year from 2007-2011. During that time they won 2 pennants, and the 2008 World Series.
Those days are long gone. The Phillies have been one of the worst teams in the entire MLB since 2013, last year they lost 99 games. Philly sports are a joke right now but at least they aren't the 76ers.
The one bright spot of this roster is 3rd basemen Maikel Franco. He may turn into a star on an awful team this year.
Much like the Phillies it wasn't that long ago were the Braves were a legit team in the NL. Most recently in 2013 they won the NL East. 2016 will be the Braves last season in Turner Field as they are moving to a new stadium in a suburb of Atlanta next year. I went to Turned Field two years ago and although it is kind of in a bad area the actually stadium was enjoyable. Tons of hot Georgia chicks too.
However, their last season in Atlanta will be one to forget. They traded away stud SS Andrelton Simmons to the Angels and other than 1st basemen Freddie Freeman idk who is on this roster. They have one of the best minor league systems in baseball but the major league product will not be good in 2016. No shot hotlanta sees the postseason in 2016.
The Rockies have always had stud position players because of Coors Field but no pitching. The Rockies have been irrelevant basically since 2009. There's been rumors of trading Carlos Gonzalez for at least the last 5 years yet he is still in Colorado. Nolan Arendado is a stud, but is wasted by being on a nothing franchise. 0.00% chance the Rockies make the post season.
There is a trend here..not that long ago the Reds were legit. They made the playoffs in 2010,12, and 13. However as a small market team they have a tough time signing free agents and have started a rebuild again by trading away Todd Frazier and Chapman. Poppa Don will hate to see this but the Reds suck and theres no way they make the playoffs in 2016. At least they have Joey Votto.
Another small market team in a rebuild. The A's shocked all of baseball by winning the AL West in 2012. Then they won it again in 2013. In 2014 they were the best team in baseball for the first few months and decided to go all in trading OF Yoenis Cespedes for Jon Lester. They also added pitcher Jeff Samardzija. They went all in and it failed, they stumbled the rest of the year and barely made the playoffs. As the 2nd AL Wild Card they lost a heartbreaker to the Kansas City Royals and after one playoff game their season was over.
Even though it failed I give the A's all the credit in the world for having the balls to switch things up and go for it. Unfortunately for them it did not work and now they are in a rebuilding mode yet again. Until they get a new stadium and start making legit money the A's are always gonna be a small market, moneyball, build through young players kind of team. I have a soft spot in my heart for the A's but this year they are gonna stink. They have a few nice players but I wouldn't be shocked if they ended up trading them. The one guy in mind here is pitcher Sonny Gray. I wouldn't be shocked at all if he ended the season on the Red Sox or Yankees.
The Brewers suck. They should go back to their old logo. Ryan Braun is a liar. He also is the only player I can name on the Brewers. They aren't going to sniff success in 2016.
San Diego Padres
Another team with a fantastic throwback logo. The Padres aka the Fathers tried to make a splash last off season by adding James Shields and Matt Kemp. Ended up winning 74 games. They did add one of the best announcers in all of sports by getting Don Orsillo. I have nothing against the Padres and hear San Diego (which we all know means a whale's vagina) is a beautiful place, but they are not going to be a competitive MLB team in 2016.
RIP Tony Gwynn
I went to Camden Yards in 2011 with a buddy of mine and our then girlfriends, the park was actually a beautiful park. Great place to watch a ball game. They accepted my ex's fake ID so I have nothing but great things to say about Camden Yards. Red Sox won by like 8 runs, it was a great day. Baltimore though is a dump and I hate Baltimore. We enjoyed the local cuisine by getting Jimmy John's for lunch and Burger King for dinner.
Ravens are scumbags btw.
The Orioles have a good lineup with a lot of power but no pitching at all. They are going to end the Red Sox 2 year reign as the last place American League East team. I have nothing but ill will for this city.
The Marlins have a fantastic power bat in Giancarlo "Mike" Stanton and a stud pitcher in Jose Fernandez. Dee Gordon is a great player as well.
I expect them to finish in 3rd in the NL East and are the only team that I think will finish 3rd that is included in this part of my blog, but with how good the National League is at the top I don't see a way that this team especially with how they never, ever add talent through the trade deadline makes the playoffs.
Also they have the worst logo and uniforms in the league.
When I woke up this morning (about 15 minutes ago) I did what I always do, check my phone to see all the notifications I had while I was sleeping. They are almost always all ESPN, maybe a snapchat or favorited tweet notification but never a text. People don't text me :/
But I saw some of the best Red Sox news I've seen since they signed David Price and that was that John Farrell actually grew a set of balls and benched Pablo Sandoval for Travis Shaw. Pablo is a fat loser who doesn't care at all since he has 3 rings from his time with the Giants and fooled the Red Sox into giving him 95 fucking million dollars.
In honor to the fat Panda getting benched this week's sports #tbt is when Pablo hit 3 homers in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series.
Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, Albert Pujols and Pablo Sandoval....Which one of those names doesn't belong?
As a learned more and more about the history of baseball growing up, one thing that always had a bunch of lore was the fact that Reggie Jackson hit 3 home runs in game 6 of the 1977 World Series. Babe Ruth had also done it a million years ago when he played. Two all time greats hitting 3 home runs in a single game on the biggest stage.
Then in 2011 Albert Pujols did it as well. Up until then in his career Pujols was on track to be one of the greatest of all time. So his name being mentioned in the same breath as them wasn't that insane.
Then next year in 2012 Pablo fucking Sandoval joined the club by hitting 3 home runs in game 1 of the Fall Classic, two off Justin Verlander which may be the craziest part. That one game basically cemented him as World Series MVP since the Giants swept the Tigers in 4 this is the only thing I remember about that boring World Series.
Pablo Sandoval was an average player at best in the regular season during his years with the San Francisco Giants but because of two good postseasons in 2012 and 2014 he fleeced the Red Sox for 95 million. Honestly I wish the Red Sox would just outright release him and eat the money. I don't want him anywhere near the Boston Red Sox.
I hate Pablo Sandoval, here is the greatest moment of his career.
After having probably the best game of his career in January's loss to the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship Game Gronk has had a pretty interesting off season. Highlighted by the Gronk Cruise, the Pats trading away his best friend, Chandler Jones and contract complaints on twitter.
Well today he made up for all of it with his classic goofy party boy persona in a post on instagram announcing he joined.
1. Didn't know you could post videos over 15 seconds now. GAME CHANGER.
2. The hashtags are soooooo Gronk #hashtag
3. His brother is freezing his nuts off in Buffalo
4. Gronk is actually kinda funny...NOT
5. Thank God Gronk is the best TE in NFL history because I don't see any other job on Earth he could do
I know baseball haven't even started yet but I cannot wait for the Pats and the NFL to be back.
Playing football and the later affects it may have on a person physically has been one of the biggest issues in all of sports the last few years. I kind of fall down the middle on the debate because I love football, I played in high school and have no regrets about playing. But I do believe there are health risks to playing. To me it is common sense that having multiple hits to the head is probably not the best thing for your brain, but I also think a lot of the head trauma stuff is over blown. Just because you get a concussion or two does not necessarily mean you're going to get CTE or ALS later in life. I don't think people should stop playing football especially in high school because more likely than not if you play football for 4 years in school nothing too serious is going to happen to you.
However many key NFL figures, despite multiple examples of players with CTE and tons of science backing up the claims that football can lead to serious health issues later in later disagree with the claims that football is dangerous.
I do feel bad for all the guys who used to play that had no idea what was coming for them down the line. But personally I don't feel bad for players now because they know the risks. I always compare it to being a soldier or police officer. There are occupational hazards. If you sign up to join the Army you know there's a chance you may not make it home. With all the money, women, and fame that comes with being in the NFL I believe this is the chance you have to take/trade off for the lifestyle.
The most well known bean head in sports, Jim Irsay recently compared the dangers of football to the dangers of aspirin. Anybody with a brain would have to agree that is an idiotic claim.
Detroit Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy murdered Irsay in cold blood with this shot to him on instagram asking "frequent trips to the pharmacy make you an expert on CTE?"
For those of you who don't know, Jim Irsay is the owner of the Indianapolis Colts. He is also an alcoholic, pill popping, lunatic and I'm glad he got called out. Here is Orsay's full quote
"I believe this: that the game has always been a risk, you know, and the way certain people are," he said. "Look at it. You take an aspirin, I take an aspirin, it might give you extreme side effects of illness and your body ... may reject it, where I would be fine. So there is so much we don't know."
I think I see what he's trying to say but it is an awful comparison. Getting hit in the head 40 times in the game 16 times a year is not nearly the same as taking a fucking tylenol.
Many in the NFL keep denying the facts about head injuries and Irsay is just the latest. Irsay is not exactly what you call smart guy or an upstanding citizen. He's been suspended before for DUI and for pills.
He also had a very interesting promotion last year as the Colts owner.
Basically give him your pills and you can get a DVD with 2014 Colts highlights. I can't believe that tweet is still up tbh with his past history. That tweet was a PR nightmare. Personally these are my favorite highlights of their season.
As a Patriots fan I hate everything about the Colts and really hate Jim Irsay. I'm glad there are others in the NFL who have issue with him as well. DeAndre Levy you're alright in my book. Anybody in the NFL who doesn't believe that playing football in the NFL can lead to CTE, ALS or any other serious issues is lying to themselves. Countless players have died from these terrible diseases. Owners like Jerry Jones and Jim Irsay who deny it are just as big of a problem.
DeAndre Levy can play on my team any day.
Opening Day for the 2016 Major League Baseball season is a week away. It's a special day where all 30 teams are even. Everybody is is first place, and has a chance to be a good team. Everybody thinks this can be THEIR year.
David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox has the same goal as a every other player and team, to win the World Series. For the one we've grown to love and have called Big Papi for over a decade, this marks the beginning of the end. In November of 2015 Big Papi announced that the 2016 campaign will be his last. This is the last year we'll get to see #34 and his big signature smile at Fenway Park as the Designated Hitter for the Boston Red Sox. What remains to be seen his how the Red Sox will handle this? Will they make the playoffs this season?
When the Red Sox signed David Ortiz in January of 2003 nobody could have ever expected what was to come. 445 home runs, 1803 RBI, 9 All Star teams, 6 Silver Sluggers and 3 World Series titles later you could make the argument David Ortiz is the most important free agent signing in the history of not just the Red Sox but the entire city of Boston.
Yet despite all the success Big Papi has had, he has also had his fair share of criticism, from outsiders and Bostonians alike. Whether it be for appearing on a list for a "failed drug test" in 2003...people bashed David. For not running hard to first base on grounders or complaining about not getting proper credit for a hit or rbi.....people bashed David. For having seasons in 2008 and 2009 that were far below his standard....people bashed David. Since 2009 when many claimed he was "done" and the Sox needed to move on David Ortiz has had four seasons of at least 30 home runs, including the last three straight years. In 2012 after he hurt his achilles many said it was time to move on again from Big Papi, he followed that up by being a key piece of a World Series Champion in 2013, and took home World Series MVP honors by hitting .688 with 2 HR and 6 RBI in the fall classic.
Personally, I love David Ortiz. I've grown up with David Ortiz. Much like how I've grown up withTom Brady. Like Brady, David Ortiz has been a huge part of my life as long as I can remember. When Tom Brady took over as Patriots QB in 2001 and won the Super Bowl I was in 4th grade. Now I'm 24 years old, and David Ortiz has been on the Red Sox since I was 11. I honestly can barely remember life without either of them.
Now with the end officially in sight with David it has me reflecting. Just another sign that I am truly not a kid anymore, one of my childhood heroes is officially retiring. They say all good things must come to an end and man have the David Ortiz years been a great thing for the Red Sox. The man who I've rooted for for over half my life is not going to be playing baseball for my favorite team anymore. Every summer from as long as I can remember I've been following the Red Sox, and other than Fenway Park, Papi has been the one constant. Players and managers have come and gone but David Ortiz (when healthy) had been the DH of the Red Sox for basically my entire life. 2016 is going to be the final summer of Papi across New England. It's going to be a tough adjustment to life without him.
It's not like he's dying but it is going to be very weird to see a Red Sox team without Big Papi. Obviously there are more important things in the world and in life than sports. I get that. We all have own real lives and more important things to worry about whether it be work, school, or our loved ones. With ISIS and everything that has happened in Europe the last few months, we as a nation have to worry about terrorism today just as much as we did in 2001.
But to me and millions of other New Englanders David Ortiz has been responsible for creating some of our biggest memories. I can remember following the 2004 Red Sox vividly and really falling in love with baseball. I had sort of followed the Sox for a couple years before, but there's nothing that will ever be like 2004. What I really remember from that year is watching games and the entire playoffs with my mom. I have great memories of that run, but what I really think about is who I was enjoying it with and how it brought us closer together. Baseball did that. Thinking the Sox were dead down 3 games to 0 and her being the forever optimist saying it's not over. We all know what happened next. The story of 2004 Red Sox was bigger than just winning the World Series. It was about all the families, not just in New England but nationwide who had grown up loving that team and hoping that this was the year...year after year. It was about all the time spent watching and listening with loved ones who weren't around to see it. That championship was for everybody who ever rooted for the Sox.
Sports have brought me some of the biggest letdowns and heartaches but also brought me some of most joyful moments and best memories of my life. There's nothing like it, it's why we watch, for the moments or happiness. I've been lucky to have a ton as a Boston fan. I love being a Boston sports fan, it is a gigantic part of who I am.
Many will say sports are just a game and don't matter. In a sense they are right, it is just a game, but they sure do matter. Sports are important in the sense that they can bring people together. Whether it be family members getting closer or bringing strangers together for something bigger than themselves.
In any part of the country two random people can connect and talk about the local team. It's very simplistic but it's a big part of American life. Sports are at their core are entertainment, but they are also an escape from the harsh realities of life. Maybe you may can't stand your job, but look forward to watching your team when you get home. Maybe you and your mom/dad don't get along, but some team has always been the one thing you can talk to each other about. Theres a bunch of other examples I could list. The beauty of sports is they can just help you get through shit in life. I remember back in 2001 despite being the three time defending the champs, the country getting behind the Yankees and their run after 9/11.
To me personally, there's no example bigger of sports helping heal tragedy in real life than what David Ortiz and the Red Sox did for the city of Boston in 2013 after the Boston Marathon Bombing.
Even now, nearly three years later, thinking about what this region went through, and what Papi and that team did for not only Boston but all of New England brings tears to my eyes. That speech was more important than a walk off homer against the Yankees. It showed just days after tragedy that Boston was not scared and would not let some coward ruin our freedom. Despite growing up in the Dominican, David Ortiz is a Bostonian, and he said what everybody was thinking in his own way. Even the FCC had no issue with what he said.
On that Saturday afternoon in April nobody knew what was in store for the 2013 Red Sox. After Daniel Nava's 3 run-homer in the 8th inning put the Sox on top, that day and game was a sign of brighter things to come for Boston. The 2013 Red Sox season helped heal a city.
We all know about all the great seasons and clutch moments David Ortiz has had in a Red Sox uniform but to me his speech on April 20th, 2013 is his greatest highlight. When he gets a statue outside of Fenway Park some day I believe it will be depicting this moment.
Now the big question left is what is going to happen with David Ortiz's final season? The Red Sox as a team have had one of the strangest four year runs I have ever seen. Last place in 2012, World Series Champs in 2013, then last place again in 2014 and 15. Over that same time period however, Papi has produced on the field. Despite being on bad teams he has been the same David Ortiz, somewhere around 30 home runs and 100 RBIs a year.
In 2012 Atlanta Braves third basemen Chipper Jones retired and had the first real retirement tour I can remember. He'd go around from city to city and they'd all honor him with some sort of gift and ceremony before the game. The Braves made the playoffs that year, losing in the inaugural Wild-Card playoff game to the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2012, Chipper's final season, he played 112 games hit .287 and I'd say helped more than he hurt in his final year despite the "retirement tour" distractions.
More recently the Red Sox bitter rivals, the New York Yankees have had two of their own all time legends retire. In 2013, Mariano Rivera had his final season, and retirement tour. In 2014, it was SS Derek Jeter who retired and also had his farewell tour. In both of those seasons, the Yankees were somewhat competitive but missed out on the postseason. Rivera was the same old lights out sandman in 2013, 44 saves and a 2.11 ERA. Statistically he went out on top. Jeter on the other hand was a shell of his former self, while he did have a nice final moment in his last at bat at Yankee Stadium, many believed he was hurting the Yankees by still playing shortstop at 40 years old. The Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA are in a similar situation currently with the Kobe Bryant retirement tour. The Lakers are completely out of the race and essentially just dedicated the 2015-16 season as a goodbye to Kobe. His play is hurting the team but they are allowing him to still play major minutes.
With the Red Sox the 2016 season is a mystery, they have signed free agent pitcher David Price to sure up their starting rotation but the team still has a lot of question marks. They could win 75 games, they could win 95 games, neither to me would be shocking.
David Ortiz has also said before he did not want a retirement tour whenever his time was up, but after announcing his retirement in November it seems inevitable that he will have one as well. I personally have no issue with this, he deserves it. To me David Ortiz is the most important player in Red Sox history. Even more so than Ted Williams. While Ted Williams is probably the greatest pure hitter of all time he unfortunately had to go up against great Yankees teams and never was able to win a World Series. David Ortiz on the other hand, helped win three and end the 86 year title drought.
Some worry that now at 40 years old, this will be the year Papi finally breaks down and had a bad year and it would tarnish the whole last thing. I personally don't think that will happen, he's a DH and has the proven track record of success. I think he could probably play in 2017 too. The major question really is how will the Red Sox do. Obviously I'd love to see them rally around Papi's final season and win the World Series. Probably won't happen but I do expect this team to be in the hunt and fight for a spot in the post-season. With all of the clutch, historic post-season moments it sure would be fitting for David Ortiz to get one last run in October and maybe one more clutch hit to add to his résumé.
2016 is going to be David Ortiz's final season with the Boston Red Sox. It had to happen at some point, lucky for David, he is going out on his own terms. Not many professional athletes get to do that. It does make me sad because I really do love Big Papi and am truly grateful for all the happy moments him playing baseball has given me. I'm going to miss watching him hit countless home runs and breaking other teams hearts. The question of his Hall of Fame candidacy will be addressed a lot this year. Personally I think he should be, he's gonna retire with somewhere around 530 home runs and at least 3 rings. So many guys from this era have steroid allegations but I truly believe that he is a HOFer the numbers speak for themselves.
2016 will mark the end of the David Ortiz era in Boston. Hopefully it ends with a victory in the World Series. Either way I'm just happy and feel lucky I was able to experience all of it. Thank you Papi.
P.S. Couldn't write this blog and not include some of his monster highlights over the last decade plus.
Another new segment I'm gonna have on dozonlife is a throwback to a moment in sports the dozonlife sports #tbt of the week. It may be a historic moment, could be a funny one, or something completely different, basically whatever I want this is my blog.
First one in honor of Texas A&M's crazy comeback against Northern Iowa in the tournament Sunday night is going to be when T-Mac single handedly brought the Rockets back from the dead against the Spurs in 2004.
Obviously just a regular season game and Sunday's comeback was in the tourney... but the show T-Mac put on here just shows the freak he used to be. It's a shame his teams could never do anything in the playoffs. When I think T-Mac this is one of the first things that comes to mind. Tracy McGrady was the man.
The other day Lebron James unfollowed the Cleveland Cavaliers on twitter and it caused twitter to explode. Everybody had their own theories. The Lebron apologists will say it doesn't matter and make 100 excuses for their guy that they'll follow blindly into the fire. While other people will say it is kind of weird for him to do in the middle of the season. I hate Lebron and have never hid that fact. But no matter what your views are of him I don't understand how you can't think this is a big deal.
With the huge platform he has as arguably the best basketball player on the earth (he isn't anymore S/O Steph Curry) I don't buy for a second that he didn't think this would become news. Lebron has 29 million twitter followers and a huge audience outside of social media, everything he does is under a microscope. Obviously one weirdo would notice and make a big deal about it. That weirdo was @kanyecobain. One of the worst twitter handles I've ever seen featuring two of the most overrated musicians of all time.
We all know the past about King James.....
Lebron is from Ohio and famously left his hometown Cavs in 2010 again countless early playoff exits and problems with management. He announced he was taking his talents to South Beach in "The Decision" which was probably the most egomaniacal move an athlete has made this millennium.
In 4 seasons in Miami, Lebron led the Heat to the NBA Finals 4 times, they won twice (2012 & 2013) and lost twice (2011 & 2014).
After losing in the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals James was a free agent and decided to go home and finally give Cleveland a championship, something it hasn't had since Jim Brown's 1964 Browns won the NFL Championship......so long ago it was before the Super Bowl even started.
Last season the Cavs lost to the Warriors in the Finals in 6 games. I hate him but there's no shame in that. The Cavs were without Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. Plus it was just Steph's year.. that Warriors team was loaded and won 67 games in the regular season.
This year the Cavs have been the #1 team in the Eastern Conference, but the season has still been full of drama. Lebron essentially got their coach David Blatt fired despite being the defending conference champs and in first place at the time. Lebron's relationships with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love have been rocky to say the very least. Now it appears Lebron has unfollowed the Cavs on his twitter account.
When asked about unfollowing the Cavs on twitter this is what he had to say about it.
"Next Question" when he had an opportunity to defuse the situation he did nothing.
Lebron has famously gone "Social Media Silent" during playoff runs which has been one potential reason for this move (which could very well could be his explanation) but I think thats unlikely. Just mute them or stay off twitter. Unfollowing in that situation seems like a little bit of overkill to me.
Personally I think that move is a little staged and ridiculous too, like not checking out girls on instagram is gonna somehow make him play better? Lebron just wants everybody to know he's "staying off" social media to make himself look like more of a competitor or whatever personally I think it's stupid and really doesn't matter at all when it comes to his play... But whatever if thats his thing than thats his thing...
BUT if he is getting ready for his no social media during the playoffs charade why is he just joining snapchat now?
Side note really Bron Bron? Joining Snap in 2016? I've had that shit since 2012 bro get with the times once for me. I guess better late than never.......but never late is better.
I just don't think it is that crazy to wonder if he is going to Cleveland again. Its clear there seems to be a lot of issues going on.
What happens after a break up?...... You unfollow your ex on social media.
Could Lebron be getting ready to break up with the Cavs again?
As I said theres been a lot of issues in Cleveland despite the relative success the team has had. Lets not forget that Lebron can opt out of his deal after this season. With his boys in Miami playing well again and his track record of having no loyalty and leaving as soon as there is adversity, (left for Miami after losing to the Celtics in 2010 playoffs with Cavs, left Miami after they lost the finals and his team was starting to look really washed up) I don't think it's THAT crazy to think he could leave Cleveland again.
As stupid as this whole story is that is sports and life in 2016 where social media is a huge deal. Is it unfair? Maybe but that is how it goes now.
As much as I hate Lebron I hope he doesn't leave Cleveland that would be the ultimate coward move (which is somewhat fitting) and I think that would be an awful PR move for him and his camp. Does he have the right to leave? Of course but it is not that simple, not even a little bit. After going back to Cleveland and the whole letter he wrote in Sports Illustrate leaving Cleveland again would be worse than before in 2010.
Winning just 1 title in Cleveland for Lebron would be bigger than 5 anywhere else. With how the Warriors and Spurs look this year it doesn't look like the Cavs would be able to beat either in the Finals. But that is months away. It is sure going to be very interesting to see what happens with all of this in the playoffs and off season.
If you read my previous blog you know I was lucky enough to get tickets to all four Thursday games in Providence at the Dunkin Donuts Center for the first round of the NCAA tournament. Well I got a little strapped for time and was only able to talk about to first two games....here are the second two.
South Region #3 Miami Hurricanes v. #14 Buffalo Bulls
When I found out the games for the Thursday slate this was the least intriguing of them. I don't really like Miami at all in any sport, kind of a scumbag school and who cares about Buffalo with anything? In a matchup that sounded more like a meeting of AFC East foes the U took on Buffalo. A game that could only be possible in the tourney.
I missed like the first 10 minutes of the game because in the break between sessions my friends went to dinner while I walked around the mall to not be tempted while on my cleanse. Since on paper this game looked like it would be a blowout; none of us were too worried about missing a little of it.
When we finally got back to our seats and saw Buffalo was still in the game I know I was excited. Nobody wants to sit and watch a blowout between two teams you don't care about.
In the second half Miami got up to like a 12 point lead and it looked like it was going to end of being the blowout Vegas expected. Buffalo wouldn't go down without a fight though and got within 4 late to make it an interesting last two minutes. Even with that this game was whatever. Pretty boring, and was very hard to follow up after the amazing Yale-Baylor game. Maybe if I was able to write more about it on Friday I'd have a better memory of it, but this game despite ending kind of close was pretty forgettable.
This game is a perfect example why they have a staggered schedule so multiple games are on TV at once. If I was at home there is a 100% chance I'm changing the channel on this game. Snoozefest city. There was even a guy sitting a row in front of me reading a Sports Illustrated. I was blown away. First off it had to be old because I saw pictures of Clemson's QB from the National Championship. Don't remember his name, maybe if they had upset Bama and I won my bet on that game I'd know his name. Second, who the hell brings a magazine to a sporting event? You're gonna drop a couple hundred bucks on tickets and read a magazine during the game? Very odd to me. People are so weird sometimes.
My number one highlight of the entire game was the Miami mascot going off for two hours.
South Region: #6 Arizona Wildcats v. #11 Wichita State Shockers
This was the game I was most looking forward to. Despite my love for Gronk I was with the Shockers all the way.
I've sorta adopted Wichita St as my tourney team the last few years just because they're an underdog despite all the success they've had keep getting disrespected by the NCAA. Last year WSU was ranked in the top 10 then lost a game in their conference tourney and got a 7 seed in the tourney. I'm no math major but with 4 regions the 7 seed should be the teams that are around 28-31 in the country....how does one loss bring you from #8 team in the country to 30???? (proof I've always had WSU's back check the dates)
Plus the fact that WSU had to play in the play in game this year is a joke and they were really underseeded. 11 is a joke. Should have probably been around a 7. They have a great senior class too in Fred VanVleet, Evan Wessel and Ron Baker. Being a good team lead by a solid cast of seniors is a rarity in college basketball nowadays.
When the game started most of my friends (and half the dunk) left because the Providence-USC game was starting too and they wanted to go watch their Friars. I however stayed because I'm a diehard (since 2016) WSU fan and had to see them play. Plus fuck PC.
A lot of the experts said this was going to be the best game of the first round and I agreed. It was a match up of two great teams with a lot of upperclassmen and experience. However that was not the case and my Shockers kicked Zona's ass. They went on a little run late but WSU still won and covered with ease.
This post isn't really to talk about the games though, it's more about my experience there and boy did I have a blast at this game.
So as I said most of my friends left to go watch PC at a bar. It was just me and my guy Don (3MP co host)left. As the game went on, more and more people left so we kept moving down to better seats as they opened up.
We ended up watching the last 10 or so minutes of the game from literally right behind the WSU bench. You can see in the pic how close we were.
We were right behind security where this guy who needs to just needs to accept the fact he is bald was holding down the fort.
Someone on WSU blocked the shit out of some bum on Zona and I can't lie I was pumped. Ive been following this WSU team for days and have fallen in love. I was amped for my guys, so I stood up and screamed "GET THE FUCK OUT" as you do after someone gets their shot swatted up into the nosebleeds.
Captain Braid-o did not appreciate this and came storming towards where I was sitting (2 feet behind him) in a fit of rage that I'm assuming was because I dropped a hard F bomb but also because he's angry that his forehead goes on for days.
He did not know who the culprit was and I'm was not gonna snitch on myself so I didn't say anything.
He just said "knock it off there are kids here" which to me is the lamest thing ever. Kids swear more than anybody. When I was in elementary and middle school (and still today) kids talked like sailors so don't give me that load of shit. When you're 9 you think you're the coolest kid on the playground when he say a bad word.
Anyways the game ends and this is where my night is truly made. First another great clip via my snapchat showing how close Don and I were.
I'm so bummed I didn't get a video of this.... After the game there was kid in a Duke jersey who is trying to get a picture with everybody on the team. WSU coach Gregg Marshall came by and took a picture but covered up the Duke on the kid's jersey. I have so much respect for that move. I loved it because first off I hate this kid for being a "Duke fan" and secondly I thought it was hilarious that Marshall covered up Duke before agreeing to take a picture. Shocker Nation doesn't fraternize with the enemy.
It's BS that just because you're a kid you should be able to get whatever you want at a game. Like if you catch a foul ball at a baseball game you're supposed to just give it to the kid by you. Fuck that, if I ever get a foul ball that ball is mine. Adults can have dreams too. I've wanted to catch one since I was a kid. Just because you're 7 doesn't entitle you to the foul ball I caught. I'm getting a little off topic but that really does piss me off.
Then after the post game handshakes and stuff with Arizona the Wichita St team runs into the tunnel and is giving everybody high fives because thats what you do after a game. Everybody is pumped that WE just moved on to the round of 32.
I got a high 5 from everybody on the team (NBD) I let them know they are my squad and that I think they have watch it takes to make the Final 4 (I'll address that in my next blog) and just let them know that I'm the biggest WSU fan in Rhode Island because it's true I am.
The only players left on the floor are VanVleet and Baker as they ARE WSU basketball and are getting interviewed. Ronny boy being the great guy that he is first goes over to the WSU fan section and sees the fans and hugged someone that I'm guessing is his mom. What happened next was the best thing that has ever happened to me. Also if you watch the whole thing you can see the Duke kid I was talking about.
Finally after WSU clears the court they put the end of the USC-PC game on the jumbotron (PC's jumbotron is AWFUL) were PC was down 1 with 3 seconds left. They inbound the ball and hit a layup/dunk couldn't really tell to take the lead and eventually win the game. I hate PC but it was pretty cool to be in the Dunk when that happened. There were a few thousand people left, mostly PC fans and they went wild. It's crazy to me how it worked out that were this game and all the post game on court stuff finally ended that there was still like 3 seconds left in the PC game and we were all able to watch the game winner in the Dunk.
I've been to a ton of memorable sporting events. I saw the Red Sox win the 2013 AL Pennant on top of the Green Monster, I've been to Patriots playoff games, I had a day where I went to Fenway during the day and a Bruins playoff game at night. Those were all awesome and definitely better just as a fan but being able to go to an entire day of the NCAA tournament in my home state was very cool and is something I'll always remember. It was a long exhausting day as I spent close to 10 hours inside the Dunkin Donuts Center but was awesome and is something I'd recommend all sport fans do once in their lifetime.
Not only was yesterday St. Patrick's Day, but it was also the opening round of the NCAA tournament across the country. One of the host cities was Providence. I was lucky enough to have a friend who got tickets. I was able to go with him and six other friends and watch college basketball literally all day. ( I sat on the aisle...veteran move) Four games from noon til midnight. How it worked in case you were wondering is the four games are split up into two sessions of two games. After the first two games theres like a 2 hour break for people to leave and do whatever they want. Despite being drained at the end of the day it was probably one of the most fun experiences of my life and I'll try to recap it for you here with my amazing way with words and pics/videos via my snapchat (follow me)
I was so excited to have an actual ticket and not a printed out one. They just aren't the same. I hate how printing out tickets is becoming the norm. I LOVE ticket stubs and have tried to collect all the ones from every game, concert, comedy show or movie I go to. I go into the dunk first alone to test security as is it is St. Patty's day and the NCAA doesn't allow alcohol to be served during games. Since I can't drink on my diet I went in first while everybody stayed outside. I'll let you connect the dots. First thing I do as soon as I get in is buy a Wichita St shirt. They're my adopted team during the tourney since URI may never dance for the rest of my life. If you read my last blog you know I LOVE Ron Baker. (I'll get more into him soon)
(all my tickets from over the years)
First game of the day was from the from West region #13 UNC Wilmington against #4 Duke, the defending national champions. Like any red blooded American I hate Duke. Obviously Duke is one of the greatest programs in college basketball but they are historically full of punky, entitled white boy bitches. (Laettner, Redick, Greyson Allen just to name a few ) so obviously I was pulling for the underdog UNC Wilmington.
I had Duke winning in my bracket but losing in the next round anyways so I was fine with them getting upset. Everybody I was with on the other hand who had Duke -10.5 was not. Told them that line was too big but nobody ever listens to ole dozo. In the first half UNC-W (idk if that's they're legit nickname but it works) came out hot and actually lead at the half 43-40. It was wicked cool to be in the crowd. I'd say 70% of the Dunk was rooting against Duke. I did see a lot of Duke shirts when I was there. They travel well and have fans nationwide. But still when UNC-W was playing well whether it was a key stop or hitting a big shot the dunk was rocking it was awesome. That's what March Madness is all about.
After the break the clock struck midnight for UNC-W as Duke began to take over and start actually playing like they were the better team (which they clearly were) they'd get the lead to double digits but UNC-W would keep bouncing back to stay within shouting distance of Duke.
Marshall Plumlee took over in the second half dropping 19 points (23 for the game) before fouling out. UNC-W fought hard but were just over matched, their center fouled out too and they had nobody who could come close to stopping Plumlee. Duke won 93-85.
After the Duke-UNC Wilmington game ended there was about a half hour break before the next game started. I'm not just saying this because I low-key hate PC I'm saying it because it is a fact....The Dunkin Donuts Center is a dump. It felt way too small for the amount of people inside. The bathrooms only have 4 urinals and 1 poop stall so the lines were going all the way to Warwick.
I couldn't eat anything there but the food didn't look that good. I was just crushing water. $4.50 for a regular bottle $7 for a big one. I spent about 30 bucks just on water. I understand that shit is gonna be more expensive at a game and probably even more for the tourney but a bottle of water costing the same as a hot dog is insane to me. I tried to make my shakes for my diet there and that just became a mess trying to fit a bunch of powder into a water bottle so I went in line and asked for a cup. They said they'd have to charge me $4.50 for a cup. That is bananas. I straight up said that's fucking stupid (sorry) and left.
During the break between games I searched for an open power outlet so I could charge my phone because I still have an iPhone 5 (like a poor) and it's battery lasts about 90 minutes. The first outlet I could find was right next to dough boy stand. Stood there like 5 times though out the day to charge my phone and didn't even think for a second about buying a dough boy which at $4 was a better deal than a bottle of water. Didn't crack and remained #dozostrong.
After getting like 10% of a charge since the old outlets at the dunk stink I went back to my seat to watch the second game which was also from the West region #12 Yale vs. #5 Baylor. Again I told everybody Yale was hot and was going to pull off the upset and to bet them but nobody listened. Kills me that I'm retired right now from gambling but that's what happens when the Patriots lose to the Broncos and you lose your entire net worth on the game.
Yale v. Baylor was hands down the best game of the four we went to. Yale pulled off the upset 79-75. Their first ever tournament win. 2016 was also their first appearance in the big dance since 1962. I was happy for them because I always root for the Ivy League school in the tourney.
There was a ton of Yale fans in the house, which makes sense it's not that crazy of a trip to Providence from where Yale is in Connecticut. Again much like the first game, I'd say the majority of the building was rooting for the underdog.
Yale has a lot of controversy surrounding them right now that has been very questionable to say the least. Recently their captain and starting guard Jack Montague, was kicked out of school for an alleged sexual-assault despite there being no real evidence. I hate the mob mentality that we have as country when those words are thrown around because it is such a serious accusation that even if you are proven not guilty of will stick with you for life. Enough with that heavy shit and I'm gonna get back into the game.
Yale guard #11 Makai Mason played out of his mind scoring 31 points, and shot a perfect 11/11 from the line. Baylor forward Taurean Prince played a great game as well dropping 28 and hit 4 3 pointers. None bigger than his last one that brought Baylor within one in the final minute.
Yale lead by 5 at half 39-34 but Baylor would not go away without a fight. In the second half Yale had an 11 point lead and I really was starting think it was over but Prince took over. In the final minute Baylor got within 1. I honestly thought they'd end up stealing the game back and would find a way to win. Yale was a free throw line late, hit the first and missed the second to go up by 2 so Baylor actually had a chance to win with the last shot. When they came down court whoever had the ball for Baylor (kind of hard to from where I was) slipped and turned it over, Baylor quickly fouled but Yale hit both to go up 4 so the game was over.
So that was the first session of my day at the tourney.....Really wanted to get the entire day in one blog but I need to go to work. As much as I love blogging it doesn't pay the bills (yet) so I gotta go...Didn't proofread no time it's 3:58 right now and I should have left my house 10 minutes ago. Oh well. Hope you enjoyed and I'll talk more about Miami v. Buffalo and Wichita St. v. Arizona soon!