Archive for October 2012

Average Thoughts From An Average Fan 10-29-12

October 29, 2012

It pains me to have to write the following paragraph…

One of the worst experiences in sports is watching your arch rival win.  Last night I experienced this for the second time in three years as the San Francisco Giants swept the Detroit Tigers en route to becoming the 2012 World Series Champions.  Like many other Dodgers fans it made me sick watching the black and orange dancing around in a celebratory fashion in October.  Once in 2010 was bad enough but to have to experience it again just two years later was a big time punch to the gut for fans of the azul.

Ok.  Now that I’ve got the paragraph from the “biased fan” perspective out of my system.  It’s time to express my feelings from the “mature adult” perspective.  If the players on this team weren’t wearing San Francisco Giants laundry it’s likely I would’ve been openly rooting for them to win it all.  When you look at the Giants line up on paper you don’t see a list filled with household names and superstars from top to bottom.But that’s what makes their story so great.

These guys played a great team game and everybody bought in to the goal and made whatever sacrifices were necessary to achieve it.  Isn’t that the kind of behavior we all want to see out of our favorite teams?  Is that not the kind of values we teach our kids to not only carry with them in sports but in everyday life?

I tip my hat to the Giants.  They deserve every bit of the success they achieved this year.  (Please Baseball Gods, don’t make me ever have to write that again)

Hopefully some good can come out of the Giants success as far as LA fans are concerned and that  Dodgers management will be motivated even further to step their game up and get the Dodgers back to the top of baseball’s food chain where they belong.

Another year of “The Association”  is upon us…

As another year of professional basketball entertainment gets underway on October 30.  My predictions for the season can be found here.  If you root for the Lakers, Thunder or Heat you obviously have the most to be excited about as your teams are the overwhelming favorites to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy at the end of the season.  If you have dreams of a championship and you root for one of the other 27 teams in the league then this year is likely going to be a complete and utter failure for you.

This past Sunday night on “The Average Joe Show NBA Preview Special” I had a moment of clarity about my view of the NBA.  The “one percent” have most of the wealth while the other 99% are fighting for what’s left.

The NBA is a lot like society.  In the history of the league there have been 63 champions.  The Boston Celtics (17), Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers (16)  have combined to win 33 championships.  That means either the Celtics or Lakers have won 52.4% of the time.

If you add in the Chicago Bulls (6) and San Antonio Spurs (4) that means those four teams have combined to win it all 68.3% of the time.  That’s four teams with more than 2/3 of all the championships in the history of the league.  Between 1987-1998 there were no “one and done” champion.  Every team went back to back or in the case of the Bulls “three-peated”.

If there’s any kind of “occupy” movement that should be going on, it should be in front of the NBA’s office.

I know a new season brings new hope and optimism each year but if you’re a fan of any team not named, Lakers, Celtics, Thunder or Heat you’re simply fooling yourself.

Do I think it’s the NBA’s goal to have such competitive imbalance?  Of course not.  But by making it a players league where the individuals, not teams are marketed along with not having a hard salary cap, the league is reaping what they’ve sowed.  It’s the big markets in one corner and everyone else in the other.

This is what the NBA’s commercials should be saying, “The NBA…It’s fantastic!  (Offer does not apply to Bucks, Kings, Bobcats, Hornets, Wizards or Raptors fans).

Once again I would like to thank Gary Bettman…

For proving that he is far and away the worst commissioner in all of professional sports.  A few days ago the league announced that all November games would be cancelled.  Now I just read that their annual “Winter Classic” out door game is expected to be cancelled in the coming days.

Way to go Gary!  Only under your leadership could a sport that I love lose an entire season due to a labor dispute and less than ten years later threaten to do it again.

It’s already bad enough that fan interest has declined and the TV deal is worse off than when you took over once upon a time but now you’re once again taking games from me.  Please step down and hand over the reigns to someone that knows what they’re doing.  Stop ruining a great game.

Also to blame in this matter is Donald Fehr.  You might remember him as the man who ran the Major League Baseball Players Association when they went on strike in 1994 ultimately resulting in the cancellation of the playoffs and World Series that year.

You’re bad for sports Donald Fehr and I can’t stand you!  Please go away and stop taking things that I enjoy away from me.

Thanks for stepping into the clubhouse!

Joe Pacheco

Co-host “The Average Joe Show”

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Average Thoughts: MLB Playoff Edition 10-14-12

October 29, 2012

I love the baseball postseason…

And I can’t think of a better example why as to this year’s four first round playoff series.  The two biggest underdog stories of the year, the Oakland A’s and Baltimore Orioles took the favored Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees respectively all the way to a final fifth and decisive Game 5 in each of their series.

The defending champion St. Louis Cardinals overcame a 6-0 deficit in their Game 5 to stun the Washington Nationals and the San Francisco Giants won three straight on the road against the Cincinnati Reds while becoming the first National League team to overcome a 0-2 deficit in a best of five series.

I was rooting for Oakland, Baltimore, Washington and Cincinnati so even though I was disappointed by the outcomes of each series, all provided great drama and kept me glued to my seat until the very end.  As a baseball fan I can’t ask for more than that.  As for the next round, I’ll be rooting for St. Louis and Detroit.

A terrible occurrence took place in the Bronx last night…

When the Yankees lost shortstop Derek Jeter for the rest of the postseason when he fractured his left ankle while trying to make a diving play during New York’s 6-4 loss in Game One of the ALCS against Detroit.

Those of you who regularly read my blog know I never root for the Yankees and am in no hurry to see them win their 27th championship however I never want to see a player get injured, let alone a player of the caliber and class of the Yankees captain.  When I root for the Yankees to lose I want them to get beat when they’re at full strength.

Jeter’s injury is not only a loss for the Yankees but all of baseball this postseason.  Here’s wishing “The Captain” a speedy recovery.  I hope he eventually gets to end his postseason career on a healthy note.

I thought it was one the biggest crimes in baseball…

That the Washington Nationals continued to be stubborn in their position of not letting Stephen Strasburg pitch in these playoffs.  The decision by Washington’s management to shut Strasburg down after reaching a season innings limit is a huge slap in the face to every player and coach in the organization as well as every one of their fans who supports the team with their hard earned money.

Yes, the Nationals were way ahead of schedule in compiling baseball’s best regular season record at 98-64.  You can’t argue with the fact the team is in a great position to make annual playoff appearances over the next several years.  However, current success is not a guarantee of future results and chances to win the World Series don’t come along every year.

Not pitching Strasburg wasn’t the reason Washington lost Game 5 but during this off-season everyone in the Nationals organization along with their fans will be focused on what might’ve been.

Shame on the Nationals organization for letting their ego get in the way of a doing what’s best for the team.  You were a great story this season Washington but your decision not to play your best healthy pitcher means that I don’t feel sorry for you.

Never underestimate the heart of a champion…

The St. Louis Cardinals showed us why in a 9-7 win over Washington in the decisive Game 5 of their first round series.  Not only did they overcome a 6-0 deficit in the game but they were down to their last strike twice before pulling off the biggest comeback ever in a winner take all postseason game.

Since winning it all last year the Cardinals lost manager Tony LaRussa to retirement and their best player in first baseman Albert Pujols to free agency.  They respond by continuing to not only win but do it in a historically, dramatic fashion.  Congrats Cardinals!  You deserve every bit of your success.

Thanks for stepping into the clubhouse.