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Friday, July 25, 2008

End Of An Era

Those of you who follow this blog know i'm a die-hard Hawkeye and try to keep my eye on what's going on back in IC. Today, an Iowa City icon has come to an end.

The Press Citizen is reporting that famed Hawkeye football tailgating spot Olive Court has been sold and will not be open this fall, or ever again, for tailgaters.

According to the report the lot has been sold to a developer who plans to build condo's on the site. While long-rumored and considered inevitable the last few years, it's still a shock to see a place i spent many, many drunken saturday mornings at closed up forever.

With the building up of the Fieldhouse parking lot, and other lots near the stadium having been designated alcohol-free long ago, the places for tailgating close to the stadium are dwindling for Hawkeye Fans. The Dental lot is still there (i believe?), but is either reserved or costs a boatload. I have a feeling the Finkbine lots will be where the party moves, but at this point it's hard to tell.

I only wonder what this will do to all the vendors along Melrose, including the 'Big-Ass Turkey Legs!' guy.

R.I.P. Olive Court. You will be missed.

You Have Failed At Life

And now it's time for another almost weekly feature, You Have Failed At Life.

It's already made the rounds on all the major websites, AA was the first place i saw it, but there was a pretty major brawl in a Minor League baseball game last night between the Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds Class A affiliate) and the Peoria Chiefs (Cubs affiliate).

The brawl resulted in 17 ejections (eventually overruled so they could finish the game. Don't ask.), a broken leg for one of the Peoria players, and oh yeah, a fan taken to the hospital due to an errant throw towards the Dayton dugout by Peoria pitcher Julio Castillo. Check the video below for the thrown ball (you'll see the throw at about the :22 second mark), and then the Dayton player jumping on Castillo's back immediately after.

As stated above, Castillo's throw completely missed the dugout and hit a fan (in the head) in the stands who was there with his wife and kids. Notice where Castillo throws the ball from though: Well inside the third base line. Which means he couldn't have been more than 15-20 feet from the dugout. Some control he has. Hey Rick Ankiel, it may be time to start thinking about another career...

Brawls happen, but because the accuracy of Mr. Castillo was so bad from such a short distance, he has earned this week's award.

Julio Castillo, You Have Failed At Life.

(All kidding aside, we hope the fan who got hit is ok...)

Where You Came From

Time for my almost weekly feature, Where You Came From, in which i take a look at the countries people visit this site from and the search terms used to bring them here.

Countries that have visited my site in the last week include: Germany, the U.K., and Japan. My international audience is lacking this week.

Search Terms that brought you here: As always, search terms are copied here unedited, and my comments are made in the parentheses...

1) NFL CBA (7)
2) carlos quentin post game interview
3) which nfl team brings in the most money (I have no idea, but i'll go out on a limb and say the Cowboys...)
4) dbacks - mark reynolds- sherrif
5) Kevin Seitzer fired (this happened a year ago...)
6) FUCK BRETT FAVRE (2) (Ha ha ha)
7) Announcing the Green Apocalypse (huh?)
8) afl open tryout (2)
9) kevin seitzer hitting (That's weird, two Seitzer searches in one week...)
10) most likely to host the 2010 world cup
11) Arizona Diamondbacks open tryout
12) espn 3 soccer
13) NFL open tryouts
14) phoenix suns tryouts 2008

Wow. For the first time ever there were no searches for 'Marwan Williams'. I am amazed...

Anyway, however you got here, thanks for coming and i hope you liked what you saw.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cards Do It Again

Then again, they had to know this was coming.

Quotes from Anquan Boldin regarding his contract situation, via AZ Central:

“At this point, I’m not even interested in a contract,” said Boldin. “For me, it’s been going on two years, and especially after last year, I was promised a deal would get done before the season. But the season’s here and obviously that hasn’t happened."

Basically, after the Cardinal's gave Larry Fitzgerald a 4-year, $40 million deal this spring, Boldin immediately wanted to get paid similar money. Right now he's scheduled to make a little over $8 million for the next three years.

I can see where Boldin might have an issue.

Now Boldin feels as if he has been betrayed by the Cards, claiming Rod Graves promised Boldin a new contract before the season. Boldin has now cut off negotiations, saying he doesn't want a contract with the Cardinal's and that he doesn't want to play for them. While not outright requesting a trade, he did say he didn't want to play for the Cardinals anymore.

Not the best quotes coming from a team leader, and not a good sign for the Cards with camp set to begin tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how this plays out...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Worst. Yellowcard. Ever.

I'm not even sure how or why you can receive a yellow card for taking out a streaker, but apparently it can be done in Russia. The player thinks he is doing a service by stopping an interruption, and the ref gives him a yellowcard for his efforts. Nice...

My favorite part is the player's reaction after getting the yellow. He just looks dumbfounded.

(H/T to Awful Announcing)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dodgers 6, Dbacks 5: A Microcosm Of The Season

Well, that was disappointing.

In a game in which the Dbacks put on full display to the Valley of exactly their season woe's, the Dbacks lose a heart breaker and series-clinching game to their number 1 current rival, the LA Dodgers.

Last year's motto for this team was 'Anybody, Anytime'.

The apparent motto for your 2008 Diamondbacks is 'If it ain't one thing, it's another'.

With the exception of the first week of the season, when the Dbacks in all likelihood peaked for the season, this Dbacks team has had any number of issues. Ranging from the inevitable (injuries), to the mundane (batting woes), to the completely inexcusable (poor fundamentals), this team has gone through long stretches of each this year. When one part starts to come back a little bit, another bit goes. It's as though this team is incapable of putting together a 'complete' game.

The last two nights, in spectacular fashion no less, it was the closer Brandon Lyon. With the exception of the first week of the year, Lyon has been a rock at the back end of our bullpen, the one person who the Dbacks could count on. In the last two games, he's been given a combined 6-run cushion, and has promptly given up 7 runs. I'm amazed we managed to win one of those games...

In a series in which it appeared the Diamondbacks bats were starting to come around, especially the top 4 to 5 hitters, the bullpen completely fell apart. And though it was Lyon in the last two games, it did not escape our set-up men either, with Leo Rosales and Doug Slaten giving up the tying and winning runs, respectively.

In all three games against the Dodgers, the Dbacks jumped out to early leads, compiling 11 runs in the first two innings, while managing to score just 4 runs in the other 23 innings (game 1 went 11 innings). Regardless, that should have been good enough in all three games to win them.

The scary stat of the week, courtesy of Daron Sutton and Mark Grace, is this: Last year, the Dbacks lost 6 games in which they had the lead after the 6th inning the entire year. This year already they've blown 16. Take even half that amount and the Dbacks are 56-42 with an 8 game lead in the division.

Which brings us back to the bullpen. Granted Qualls and Pena have had their struggles lately, but nothing like the total meltdown Brandon Lyon has had the last two days. That Valverde trade is looking worse and worse, given that we got back an unreliable set-up man in Qualls and a completely worthless Chris Burke (.186 BA, 0 home runs, 7 RBI's, why is he still on the team?).

I still think Lyon can be a good closer, on this team even, but his struggles are just an indication of a bigger problem with the Dbacks: Their bullpen as a whole. Juan Cruz is injured. Conner Robertson is mediocre at best, Doug Slaten ditto, especially as a left handed 'specialist', Edgar Gonzalez is out for the season, Qualls is slightly injured, Pena has struggled as of late, and Lyon just blew two saves (I'm still calling game 2 a blown save even though it technically wasn't). Yusmeiro Petit has actually looked good as of late, but he's a long reliever/starter, so doesn't get much time in relief. Though maybe he should.

So, rumors are swirling. Jon Rauch from the Nationals is the hot name, presumably to come in as a closer and push Lyon back to the 8th inning. Problem is, the Nationals will want something in return, and Dbacks are hesitant to give up a top-flight prospect or any of their big league guys. I've also heard a rumor about moving Micah Owings to the bullpen (where he pitched from in Philly right before the all-star break, which i thought was curious at the time), and moving either Petit or Max Scherzer into a starter's role. I think this could be an interesting role, though i'm not ready just yet to give up on Micah as a starter.

Personally i think you could also look at moving Scherzer or Cruz into a permanent set-up role, but that's just me. All i know is that right now, the bullpen as presently configured isn't getting it done and is costing the team games. It's getting too late into the season for that to be happening...