1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Wednesday “Padres in 1st Place-Sort Of”

Posted by on May 31st, 2023  •  0 Comments  • 

“Padres-Move into 1st place-MLB Underachiever”
It’s summer and baseball’s pennant races have now kicked into high gear.

The PADRES have moved into first place, whether they want to know it or not, they are ranked #1 in underachieving in the first third of the MLB season.

Pick any offensive stat you want and they are below water: team batting average, runners in scoring position average, runners on 3rd base average, DH batting averages, catcher’s batting averages.  It goes on and on.

Add in the fact the starting pitching is not what it was a year ago,probably because of the innings piled up, and it’s been a struggle.  Luckily there are still 108-games left to be played for Soto-Machado-Tatis-Cronenworth-Boegaerts to earn their money.

There are other troubled teams too, for lots of reasons.

PHILLIES…Start with Bryce Harper missing a large segment of the first 40-games-recovering from elbow surgery.  Trea Turner has not hit in Philly like he hit in Dodgers Stadium.  Kyle Schwarber has been benched, not hitting, very little power.

METS…No contributions from Max Scherzer-Justin Verlander because of injuries and a suspension.  All their starting depth is on the DL including Jose Quintana and Carlos Carrasco.  And a  suspect bullpen after losing their ace closer Edwin Diaz with that injury in the WBC.  At least the Mets are hitting.

CARDINALS…Yes they have Arenado and Goldschmidt, but the acquisition of power hitting catcher Will Contreras has not panned out yet.  The big issue virtually the entire outfield, Dylan Carlson, Tyler O’Neill and Lance Nootbar, have all been on the DL with all types of injuries.  Adam Wainwright and Steven Matz have done nothing on the mound the first third of the season.  And maybe they miss the leadership of Yadier Molina.  They’re playing a bit better but don’t look like a complete team.

BREWERS…Just like a bunch of other teams, ailing pitchers have killed the start to their season.  Take Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burns, Adrian Houser, Eri Lauer and Aaron Ashby out of your rotation, and what do you have?  Colin Rea as your starter.  A troubled start to the season.

BLUE JAYS…They sure look good on paper with that diverse batting order, but it has equated to only a .500-start and a last place in the standings in the very tough AL East.  George Springer suddenly looks like an old play.  Nagging injuries to Vlad Guerrero, Beau Bichette and Brandon Belt have not helped yet.  Matt Chapman has shown flashes.  Being in that division makes it tougher to mount a comeback.

CLEVELAND…A surprise team a year ago with so many young guys playing well around young veteran star Jose Ramirez.  This year, Ramirez is not hitting up to standards and none of the kids are hitting at all.  They have very good pitching, but unless Naylor-Straw-Giminez-Kwan-Rosario start hitting, it won’t be a good summer on the Lakefront.

MARINERS…A similar story of last year’s bright young team.  Julio Rodriguez hitting in the .240s which is stunning.  Ditto for Teo Hernandez and JP Crawford and Eugenio Suarez.  Jared Kelenic has overcome a rocky first year.  There’s not alot of power around them in the batting order.  Luis Castillo and a young pitching staff needs better run support.

So the Padres are in first place, in the underachieving category.  Everyone has 100-games left to make it come together.  But some of these teams are digging too big a hole to come back from.

1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Tuesday “Padres-Band Wagon”

Posted by on May 30th, 2023  •  0 Comments  • 



Memorial Day marks the start of summer and it is also the demarcation point for the MLB pennant races, who’s real, who’s not, who’s in trouble.

Enter the San Diego Padres, moving into June with a (24-29) record, a slump plagued batting order and a set of stats stained by futility and ranked near the bottom of lots of offensive categories.

What’s wrong with this picture at this hour?

The Padres were a half-game ahead of the last place, low budget Rockies, as the Friars flew into Miami to open a 3-game series with the Marlins.  That’s hard to believe.  The Rockies had as many wins as the Padres.

What’s wrong with this picture, the baseball standings.

The low budget Orioles have 34-wins to the Pades 24.  Rebuilding Arizona has 30-wins, in 2nd place in the Division.  The forever last place Marlins have 28-wins.  The always struggling Angels have 28-wins.

The Giants, Twins and Tigers have netted 27-wins.  The small budget Pirates and Reds have won 24-games-same as San Diego.

How has this gone down at home?  Padres fans, selling out home games at a record pace, have taken to booing the home team, especially during the losing home stand series with  the Royals and Red Sox.

And the national media has lampooned the Friars leadership, its batting order, and its GM.

The Washington Post called the Padres model ‘broken’.
USA Today gave the Padres a letter grade of ‘F’
ESPN called the the worst ‘underachievers’ in baseball.

Yes, there are still 100-plus games left in the season, and time to chase down the Dodgers for 1st place in the division, and still time to position yourself for a wildcard spot.

If Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis and Jake Cronenworth hit back to form, this team will make its move.  But what if those four stay where they are at right now (.224-to-248) what kind of season will this turn out to be.

Will the wheels come off the bandwagon?  Will there be lots of seats empty if the losing continues.

I said I thought this team would win 100-games this year.  They’ve got a long way to go, to do that, and to prove the critics wrong.

What’s wrong with the standings as of this morning?  The way the Padres are playing.


1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Monday “Memorial Day-Why It Means So Much”

Posted by on May 29th, 2023  •  0 Comments  • 

“Memorial Day–It’s Meaning”


Memorial Day weekend. Picnics, family, Padres games, the Indy 500, the NBA playoffs and the NHL playoffs, the Stanley Cup finals. Lots to see, experience and think about.

Memorial Day weekend is a time to remember also. We see hometown heroes amongst us in San Diego. The Padres icon broadcaster, the late Jerry Coleman flew fighters and even landed upside down on a flight deck. The late Red Sox hero Ted Williams was a fighter pilot both in the Pacific and in Korea, survived two crashes, and came home to super stardom.

There are two Purple Hearts in my house, family members who served in our World Wars, were wounded, killed, and whose relatives’ lives were forever changed.

When you come from an extended large family of that era, you are influenced by their experiences. Influenced by those you know, those you loved, those you lost.

I’ve been to Arlington, to the Punch Bowl cemetery in Hawaii, to Rosecrans Cemetery here, and went to the U.S. cemetery at Normandy-it left me speechless..

I wept when I went to the black granite Vietnam Wall in Washington and was moved by the D-Day Memorial in Virginia. If you go to the Balboa Naval Hospital you are impacted. When you know them, when you care about them, when you see them, when you ache for them and their memories, it leaves a lasting impression.

Maybe it is my Baby Boomer mortality catching up to me. Friends are passing, saying goodbyes to family members. Virtually all of them are linked to the military. In this situation, Memorial Day becomes more than a holiday.

I hardly know the full background, except my dad was a Sea Bee in the Navy, in the Pacific. He built runways as the Navy, then the Marines brought in planes to continue the assault to recapture all those islands from Japan. He told me only once about being shot at and diving under planes to avoid snipers. My dad was only 22 at the time and experiencing that.

Nick was my Godfather. He was slight of build, big of heart, with no fear. He was a point man hit by snipers in a hedgerow at Anzio. His life was forever changed. He spoke only once about it to me. Twenty-nine surgeries later, he died from wounds. They gave me his Purple Heart, ribbons, the 1944 telegrams that said he was killed in action, then missing in action, then rescued.

Jack was my uncle. A decorated journalist, island hopping the Pacific with Douglas McArthur. He wrote for the International News Service, the forerunner of UPI. He saw horror and death. He interviewed Tojo, who tried to commit suicide. He covered the Peace Treaty signing on the USS Missouri. He came home a broken man. He was never the same sports journalist covering the old Brooklyn Dodgers after that. They gave me his war photos, ribbons, and wire service stories when he passed. He never spoke of it.

Danny was another uncle. I never knew much, except that he was a teenager  from Maine, in the Marines, who died on the Bataan Death March. I found his name on a plaque, but like so many others, nothing else. Gone at 19.

Vin was a paratrooper. Jumped into the dark behind the Normandy lines. He was 24 and part of the glider brigade. He was wounded twice, but did come home. His Purple Heart is in a glass case, with a piece of autographed fabric from a crashed glider that went into the woods when they missed the landing zone. Virtually all with him perished.

Vito was in South Africa in tank command, chasing Rommel across the desert. All that heavy infantry fire led to his loss of hearing.

Joe was a medic in the heat, humidity and suffering in the Philippines. His lasting memory before he died was malaria and quinine.

Smitty was 19 and a turret gunner on B-17 and B-24 raids. The average life span of those crews was 13 flights. He made 35 missions, over places like Ploesti and Dresden. He laughs that his pilot was only 19, old enough to drop bombs, but not old enough to get a drivers license in Michigan. He told stories till dementia took over his mind.

Laddy was a waist gunner in a B17 sent on a mission deep into Germany,  they never came back from, on a day we lost 60-bombers heading to Regensburg-Schweinfurt with no fighter protection.  The day became ‘Black Thursday’

Memorial Day touches friends too. Seven in my tiny graduating class on Long Island were lost in my war, Vietnam.

Murph was a wrestler and a jokester. A land mine ended it all very quickly for him. Lew was a basketball player taken out on a ridge by either sniper fire or friendly fire. Charley went off on night patrol in the jungles; he never returned after the firefight. Three others were done in not by the VC, but by Agent Orange.

Memorial Day is also about brothers. One who is a career officer, with service time in Iraq and Afghanistan. He struggles with seeing wounded men booby trapped when our medics go to treat them. He angered many by saying “if you fire on my soldiers from a mosque, it is no longer a mosque.” He has sat on transports with the caskets and body bags of his soldiers.

The other brother is in anti-terrorism, who never forgot 9/11 and what he sensed the minute the second plane went into the towers. He won’t speak, but he knows much, and this weekend means much to him too.

I will visit a cemetery to say thanks and to remember. An aging friend, who landed on Normandy, told me the only thing missing from the movie Saving Private Ryan was the smell of diesel fuel. Another in a rest home was part of the Royal Air Force and the heroism of the Battle of Britain, with burns and ribbons as remembrances.

Fly a flag this weekend. Enjoy the picnics, the Padres, the Indy 500, the NBA and the NHL, but remember the past.

Many went and came back. Many went and never came back. Many went, came back, never the same.

Memorial Day is a hard time for me. Two Purple Hearts are in my house. A thankful heart. A heavy heart too.

1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Friday “The Indy 500-Race Day Storylines”

Posted by on May 26th, 2023  •  0 Comments  • 

“The Indy 500-Memories”


They sing ‘Back Home in Indiana’ on Sunday.
Gentlemen start your engines will be replaced by the roar of engines
The Green flag will see guys leading the pack who posted 234mph laps.

The Greatest Spectacle in Sports will be run before 250,000-fans this weekend.

The storylines are amazing this weekend, just like the history of years and decades gone by.

Alex Palou, one of the hottest drivers the last couple of years,starts on the pole.  His storyline is not just speed, but what happened last season, when he wound up in court trying to escape his contract from Chip Ganassi racing.  He was trying to go to the new Arrow-McLaren team.  The courts ordered him to drive for Ganassi.

Starting across the front grid is Felix Rosenqvist, the guy he was supposed to replace till the court case was settled.  Rosenqvist will likely leave McLaren-even if he wins, to be replaced by Palou.

Starting in between them will be the Dutch driver Rinus Veekay, who is fast and who crashes alot.  Pay attention at the start.

Each year somebody shows up you didn’t know and does really well, and maybe wins.  That guy might be the guy who starts 4th on the grid, Santino Fertucci running for the under financed AJ Foyt team. He is fast, he is unheralded.

Legendary New Zealander Scott Dixon starts in that second row, and might be the best Indy veteran who gets littls respect despite all those wins.

Former 500-winners, like Marcus Ericksson, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato start further back in the traffic.

Keep an eye on Roman Grosjean, the displaced F-1 driver from Team Haas, has run well in Indy car racing and seems on the brink of winning here, why not now.

Ditto for great veterans like Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden.

It might be the year the Mexican driver Pato O’Ward gets the win, for he has run upfront alot here.

The Indy 500 has become a global event.  The field is so international, it has a different feel and flavor now than a decade ago, than 30-years ago, than when Ray Harroun running in an old roadster won the first ever.

There is so much tradition come Sunday.  It is a slice of Americana as they run for the 107th time.

It’s a race now just of speed and guts and luck and craft, it is a race of personalities.

AJ (Foyt) and Lone Star JR (Rutherford).
The Gas Man (Sneva)
Big Al and L’il Al (Unser)
Mario and Michael (Andretting)
The Boys from Brazil (Castroneves-Kanaan)
Vukie and Tony (Vukovich-Granitelli)
Spin and Win (Danny Sullivan)

It’s the brilliance of owners and visionaries like Roger Penske

It’s a race of heartache, late race crashes, blown engines and ever changing track conditions.

It’s daring last lap passes and brutal 1st lap crashes.

It’s airborne cars and terrible fires from back in the day with Swede Savage and Salt Walther..

It is everything you would ever want in the race, and we get it on Sunday.

The Indy 500…speed, speed and more speed.  Safe run guys.


1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Thursday “Jim Brown-Legacy-Players-Person”

Posted by on May 25th, 2023  •  0 Comments  • 

Jim Brown-Remembering Greatness”


He was an icon.  He was defiant.  He was a complete man.

I grew up on Long Island and was a Cleveland Browns fan.

My memories of Sunday afternoons as a kid, the Browns-vs-Giants..the New York Football Giants.

It was Jim Brown-vs-Sam Huff..The big tough running back against the ever feisty linebacker.

Brown leaves behind a legacy of accomplishment as a player and impact as a person in black society.  He also carried a tainted reputation to the grave as a women-abuser.

History should write he was as great an athlete and person in his sport as Babe Ruth was to baseball, Jack Robinson to integration of baseball, Will Chamberlain to basketball, Bill Russell to social causes, and Gordie Howe to hockey.

The guy who wore #32, ran the football like no other in a 9-year career.  He was the cornerstone of the great Paul Brown-led teams in Municipal Stadium.

What he did was dominate.

You decide what impresses you the most:
..3-time MVP
..9-years career worth over 12,000-yards rushing and 69-TDs
..8-time Rushing Leaders
..7-one thousand seasons
..58-100 yard games
..Career rushing average of over 100-yards per game, never done before or since.

Close your eyes and visualize all the great running backs.  OJ Simpson, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, Earl Campbell and even back in the day Red Grange.
He was different than all of them and maybe was the pace setter for what the position should be come.

He walked away from the game in a dispute with new owner Art Modell.  He became a movie actor.  He became a true activist too in life.  He left bitter, and the Browns were forever hurt, they have never been to a Super Bowl in 57-years.

The standoff came in a battle of wills between two stubborn men.  Brown defended Modell in the firing of Paul Brown.  He felt he should have been given space  to report late to camp by 1-week, considering all he had done in his career.  Instead Modell wanted to show who was boss.  Brown showed him he was the boss of his own life-career, and left.    He never came back.  Cleveland was never the same again.

He was always a social cause advocate.  That included his backing of black business investment, especially banks.  What he did for black business leaders and politicians on the Lakefront is legenday.  His support of the NAACP, his stance of Muhammad Ali and the Viet Nam war boycott, his friendship with Martin Luther King, his involvement and intervention with gangs in Los Angeles were signature events in life, equal to 200-yard rushing games..

A man for all seasons, and many causes.

But a complex man too with his treatment of women, and a constant confrontation issue with police.  He was arrested seven times off the field for spousal abuse, sexual misconduct, child support incidents.

As dominant as he was on the field, he seemed to want to dominate the women he dated and the women he eventually married, mentally and physically.

He stood for so many things, most good-some bad.  He left a legacy few athletes from the 1960s thru this morning have ever matched.

Jim Brown, the player, the man, the person was something we might never ever see again, on the field or in a community.